Marcus grew up in
a developing suburban area in Dallas, Texas and as a result many houses
were being constructed which provided him with the opportunity to extensively
work with construction materials such as wood, metal, foam, and sand.
However, he didn’t really start progressing in ceramics until high
school at Jesuit College Preparatory
School of Dallas, where he received formal instruction and was able to
develop his skills more rapidly. It was there that he was first introduced
to clay and began working with clay. He spent a lot of time outside of
class in the studio and upon graduation received an award in ceramic arts.
After high school, he went to the University of Oklahoma (OU)
on full scholarship where he began study as a biologist, however, he also
took classes in ceramics and after a year and a half, he dropped out of
OU and moved back to Dallas where he went
to Brookhaven Community College (BCC).
At BCC, he continued to
work in clay and decided to quit studying biology altogether. After one
semester at BCC, he transferred
to the University of North Texas (UNT)
where he began pursuing degrees in fine arts.
At UNT, he really developed as an artist
of all mediums and in the end he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
in Ceramics and a BFA in Sculpture. It was at UNT
that he studied sculpture (predominantly metals such as bronze and steel)
with Harlan Butt, Richard Davis, and Don Schol and ceramics with Jerry
Austin and Elmore Taylor. In specific, he also had the opportunity
to meet and work with artist such as Don Reitz and Rick Berman, both of
which really pushed his art forward, especially with Don Reitz where he
started making large scale pieces and began toying with fire methods such
as raku, salku, wood- and salt-firings. During this period, he also did
an apprenticeship with Jim Dale at Salado
Pottery, where he became functionally proficient in ceramics. While
still drawing and painting, he started his own ceramic company (Infinite
Vision... the site you are now at) and started making a living by selling
his art (mainly functional ceramic pieces) which lasted for about 2 years.
After receiving his BFAs, he began work on a masters program in ceramics
at UNT, but as his business continued
to do well, he left the program after one year. After some time working
as a professional artist, he realized that he had a strong interest in
understanding and working with materials and in fact during his time at
UNT, he had become interested in a from-scratch
approach where he bought the raw base materials such as kaolin, feldspar,
silica, etc… and began making his own clays, slips, stains, and
glazes. This is also where he really became interested in the process
and science behind working with materials (a little foreshadowing here).
After this realization, he decided to return to school to study chemical
engineering and was admitted to Colorado School of Mines (CSM).
At CSM, he took an introductory class in the field of metallurgical and
materials engineering which he found very interesting as it addressed
the scientific and technical issues associated with the "alchemy"
he had learned previously while studying art. As a result, he switched
his major to metallurgical and materials engineering as it became clear
that he had a lot of practical experience working with materials such
as metals and ceramics. While studying metallurgical and materials engineering,
he continued to work in ceramic arts and he did this at Red Rocks Community
College (RRCC) with ceramic artist,
After receiving a Bachelor of
Science (BS) in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from CSM,
he attended Northwestern University (NU)
where he studied Materials Science and Engineering in the Dunand
Group. During his time at NU,
he had the opportunity to establish a studio in his house with a throwing
wheel and a kiln and of course all of the chemicals needed to make his
own glazes, stains, slips, etc… He regularly attended a figure drawing
class at Noyes Cultural Arts Center where he continued to develop his
interpretation of the figure. He also taught minicourses on ceramics at
During his PhD research, which was focused primarily on strain measurements
and imaging of metal matrix composites using high-energy X-rays at the
Advanced Photon Source of Argonne National Laboratory, he had the opportunity
to work with the conservation science department at the Art Institute
of Chicago (AIC) on ancient Chinese
bronzes. After receiving a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from
NU, he received a 1-year Mellon
fellowship with AIC, where his
research expanded to both ancient and modern bronzes.
After completing his 1-year Mellon fellowship with AIC, Marcus spent the next
2 years performing research as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow in
the Institute of Materials at Ruhr
University in Bochum, Deutschland. After living in Deutschland, he moved
back to the US, and began working as an instructor at Oregon State University
and as a research metallurgist at ATI Wah Chang, where he continued researching
and developing metal alloys.
In September 2012, he joined the Department of Materials Science and
Engineering at UNT as an Assistant Professor.
As a member of the faculty at UNT,
he continues to perform research in the field of conservation science, currently working with the Dallas Museum of Art. In his spare time, he also continues to create art.