By concentrating on perfecting form, James Lovera unleashes upon the "canvas" of his chargers and bowls interpretations of the textures and hues that surround him in nature. His vessels exemplify midcentury Modernist concerns for the clarity of form and function, but Lovera has also been a student of Song Dynasty (960-1279 c.e.) ceramics, which are among the highest achievements in Chinese porcelain. Lovera was moved by the regard during that historical period for simplicity and the distillation of form to its essence. He has also pushed the chemistry of his glazes to fit to porcelain like a skin.
Lovera is best known for his crater glazes, taking them, beginning in the 1970s, to unprecedented levels of lathered, volcanic definition. Since 2000, Lovera has revisited his longstanding crater formulas, reinventing them as necessary to create surfaces that are now fully dimensional and riddled with thousands of vesicles. Lovera's mastery of both material and kiln is required to prevent the viscosity of the glaze from shattering a bowl's thin walls.