This article appeared in the June 2012 issue as "An Artist's Touch."
Stan Bitters is a 21st-century caveman. In a windowless steel building on an industrial strip of Fresno, California, the 76-year-old sculptor shapes earth, water, and fire into primal ceramic forms. It is a ritual based more on instinct than intellectual precept. “It’s not about thinking about the clay,” he says. “It’s really getting in there and manipulating it—mashing it and beating it—until it produces some feeling of wonderfulness, something earthy and textural.”