Developing the Artist


An Early Start...

Joshua  Margolis grew up in Saratoga Springs, New York during the tail end of  the seventies, the eighties, and the beginning of the nineties. It was  somewhere in this time that he went to a local summer arts camp at  Skidmore College and was exposed to his first creative interaction with  clay. He began like anyone else who was new to the medium, learning to  make pinch, coil, and slab forms. It would have been an uneventful and  insignificant experience if not for the kind words and encouragement  from the late ceramics icon Toshiko Takaezu who spent two weeks at  Skidmore each summer. At the time Joshua shrugged off her words of  encouragement and went on with his confusing adolescence. But  subconsciously those words of encouragement gave him the confidence to  continue working with clay throughout high school and then on through  college where he focused his studies.


Off to Buffalo...

At school in Buffalo, New  York is where Joshua truly came into my own, focusing on the figure as a  way to express his thoughts and emotions. This is also where he began  to explore the great influences of his childhood, such as George Lucas,  Jim Henson, and all the comic book visionaries that he was so obsessed  with. 


Lost in Florida...

After graduating from Buffalo, Joshua relocated with his  parents to Tampa, Florida. They entered Florida on January 1st, 2000,  and what was intended as a brief stay, ended up as three and a half  years of unhappiness while being stuck in a hot, hellish place. But with  this unhappiness there came a huge development creatively and  professionally. Artistically, Joshua started working at the University  of Tampa under the guidance of Professor Jack King. It was here where he  was taught the in and outs of being an artist and the fundamentals of  how to teach ceramics. Teaching others became a great way for him to  process his own creative outlet and led him to another positive  experience in Florida, which was working at a company called Creative  Clay. After exhibiting his work in some local shows Joshua was asked to  be a guest artist teaching clay to adults with developmental  disabilities at Creative Clay. Working with these students he discovered  the true meaning of love, and also began to develop himself as strong,  and patient teacher. 


Heading out West...

Needing a change, in June of 2003  Joshua loaded up his car and headed west to San Francisco. It wasn’t the  easiest place to make a living, and there was no job or art  opportunities waiting for him. But the fact that he knew a few people   made it seem like a much better choice than Florida, or going back north  to the cold. He started working at a non profit called Seneca that  provided services for children with behavioral and emotional challenges,  and on the weekends he also taught at a clay studio called Kids N Clay.  After a few years living and working in the east bay Joshua took a job  teaching ceramics at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and  moved all his belonging into the city.     


Oakland Art Community

In  2010 Joshua joined FM Oakland Art Studios where his work has been viewed by over 100,000 visitors over his eight years being there. As of November of 2018 Joshua made the difficult decision to leave FM and start the search for a new studio. 


Rooting his life in the Town...

In  January of 2013 Joshua made the triumphant move back to the east bay  and rooted himself in the Oakland art scene while keeping his job duties  at the JCCSF. Although the move back to Oakland was exactly what he  wanted, he found himself feeling the same sense of  loneliness he had  during his stay in Florida. So he did what made the most rational sense.  He got a dog, and life has been almost perfect since.