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Famed ceramicist & innovator Ken Edwards dies at 96

Ken Edwards, the internationally famed U.S.-born ceramicist who installed the first high-temperature kiln in Mexico and produced ceramics renowned for incorporating traditional Tonala designs, died July 31, in Guatemala, at the age of 96.

pg3bEdwards was born in 1926 in Kansas City, Missouri, and spent many hours as a boy whittling—carving shapes out of raw wood using a knife.  After his early education at the Ashland Grade School and Central High School of Kansas City, Edwards enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute to study life drawing and anatomy.

His studies, however, were interrupted by World War II and he enlisted in 1944. Trained as a rifleman, he was assigned to the 145th Artillery Battalion, and shipped out to Le Havre, France in early 1945, shortly after the Battle of the Bulge.  His unit was sent to the front lines and he participated in the sweep through Germany and the surrender of the German forces.

Back home, Edwards returned to college, graduating with a sculpture major and ceramics minor. His interest in ceramics had evolved throughout his studies, motivated by instruction from two renowned and innovative tutors, Wallace Rosenbaur and Edward Johnson.   

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