Jose R Avalos Jr, was raised in the Northern Suburb of Lake Bluff, IL. He knew that ceramics was going to be a huge part of his life at the young age of 7. He was watching the PBS show, “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” which featured a ceramic artist couple and they were throwing on the potter's wheel. It was at that moment that Jose thought to himself, "I could do that! That's easy!"
It was not until his time at Lake Forest high school when Jose would have his opportunity to get involved with clay. He found out that working in clay would not be easy. He remembers the first time he sat at the potter's wheel and his high school ceramics teacher asked to make a cylinder...he made his cylinder and called for his teacher to come and look at it. She came over and looked down at his wheel and told him, "Now, put a hole in it! It's not supposed to be solid." Soon after Jose caught on and was completely hooked, He was high school arty. He worked very hard and spent countless hours after school working on his craft and absorbing as much as he could.
Jose went to study ceramics at the internationally renowned college for ceramics, Alfred University. He left Alfred University to help his family and then enrolled at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his BFA in ceramics in 2002.
Soon after he moved to California (because of a girl). While there, he taught high school ceramics for 5 years. Jose felt the need to go to graduate school, so he could accomplish his dream of becoming a college professor. He received his MA in studio Ceramics from New Mexico State University in 2009. Jose returned home to Illinois to continue his studies at Northern Illinois University where he received his MFA in Ceramics in 2013.
Jose continues to teach anywhere he can and wherever he is allowed. His passion is to teach ceramics at every and any level and show his students what a wonderful material clay can be to discover more about themselves and their creativity.