Bob Richardson grew up in Minnesota. Instead of following in the direct path of his older brother who chose to attend the University of Minnesota immediately after high school, Bob struck out on his own and joined the Air Force. He served for four years on active duty and spent four years in the reserves. His service provided him with four years’ of tuition credit, and he returned home to attend the University of Minnesota after all.
It was here that his interest in art first peaked. He took an art appreciation class and felt he was drawn to it. He wasn’t sure how he could make a living in the field and upon asking the instructor, he was guided to a degree in art education. To continue towards his degree, Bob transferred to St. Cloud State College, where he met his wife-to-be, Julia, in the art department, of course. Soon after his graduation, they were married.
He began to teach but soon came to realize that more than teaching art, he wanted to make art. He enrolled at the University of Minnesota in Duluth and with the support of Julia, who taught at elementary schools there, he achieved his dream and received his master’s degree.
But the west was calling. His father had visited there to look for work and returned without the job, but with glowing reports of beautiful Oregon. With this in mind, Bob and Julia took a trip to investigate opportunities. While there, Julia was hired to reach in Portland’s Model School Program and Bob was hired as a production potter with Pacific Stoneware. The decision was made to return to Minnesota, sell everything and make the official move to Oregon.
From there his opportunities multiplied. He was hired to develop a ceramics program at what is now Western Oregon State University in Monmouth and taught there for 17 years. During this time, he attended a faculty art show that was held at Salishan Lodge. It was there he met John and Betty Gray, owners of Salishan. It was from them that he purchased a little farmstead on Immonen Road that would be his studio and gallery and would become Mossy Creek Pottery. They owned the little property for 12 years.
After leaving Lincoln City, Bob and Julia developed three more galleries and established Oregon Clay Company in Salem. After several years, they sold the business, but Bob returned 10 years later to manage the company again.
They currently live in Eugene, Oregon.