James Makins (1946-) was born in Johnstown, PA, and raised in the nearby coal-mining town of South Fork. In 1964, he entered the Philadelphia Collage of Art (now The University of the Arts) to study Art Education, with a concentration in ceramics. After receiving his BFA he served an apprenticeship before doing graduate study at Cranbook Academy of Art where he received his MFA in 1973. He moved to NYC where he established a pottery studio in the SoHo district. In the summer of 1990, he participated in a ceramic workshop (IWCAT) in the Japanese pottery making town of Tokoname. In 1993 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to Japan, and later in 2000, was awarded a Japan Foundation Fellowship. From these experiences, and with the help of his host family, the Yamanakas, he established a studio at Gallery Kyouei-Gama and began a twenty-year association with pottery making in Japan. In addition to maintaining studios in New York City and Japan, he also teaches in the Ceramics Program of the Craft Department at The University of the Arts.