“That was the nice thing about clay,” he said. “If you didn’t like the way something really was, you could always fix it up,”
The exuberant, playful work of David James Gilhooly made him an international sensation in the late 60s through the early 80s. His whimsical ceramic creations began with animals, including zebras and anteaters, and then there were frogs, lots and lots of frogs.
Born into a long lineage of accomplished, traditional pueblo potters in 1970, Cavan Gonzales has added his unique 21st-century interpretation. He has been a leader in the revival of San Idelfonso polychrome pottery. This technique involves the application of three or more layers of colored slip to create designs. Cavan's fine graphic arts skills have been applied to creating new designs inspired not only from the past but also the present by adding elements of technology such as solar energy.
“This technique provides a wide range of bright, sharp colors. More importantly, I feel the majolica technique best allows me to convey the kind of attitude or feeling I want my pottery to invoke – that is one of lightheartedness.”
Stanley Mace Andersen’s functional earthenware tableware certainly achieves his goal. The exuberance of his flowing brushstrokes creates a rush of good feelings, like a walk through a meadow on a perfect summer day.
Bringing movement to the traditional forms of pottery has always been on James Lawton’s mind. Early work has floating furniture, falling pots, and clothing flying by as if inhabited by the Invisible Man. In many pieces, there are several constructed forms coming together to make a flowing, cohesive statement, while always maintaining the utilitarian functionality of his vessels, teapots, vases, and flasks.
In England, where Richard Batterham was born in 1936, he is considered the leading living maker of domestic stoneware. It’s a reputation that has been made by a life spent diligently working with discipline and talent to perfect his functional forms and lovely muted glazes.
Interested in craft and design from a young age, Richard studied at the Bryanston School. He was taught pottery by Donald Potter who had worked with Eric Gill and Michael Cardew. After his National Service, he apprenticed with Bernard Leach at St. Ives for two years. He married Dinah Dunn in 1959, and they set up housekeeping in Durweston, Dorset.
“The 1960s was an unbelievable period in American life. No one can imagine the full extent of the social forces of change at work during this time without living it. On my trips to San Francisco, I experienced the full bloom of hippie life. The Vietnam War, with all its social unrest, had powerful ramifications throughout the USA in daily life and in academia. Furthermore, there was a dramatic surge in the Bay Area into funk art, which manifested itself in ceramics through the use of bright colors, erotic images, narrative and the use of mixed media…It was a direction that worked perfectly for me and gave me the freedom to let my craziness run amok. I became my own man and expressed my sarcastic wit through images and titles in my artwork.”
“For over forty years I have been compelled to make these curious forms. Usually, they are vases but sometimes they become teapots, bowls or jugs and sometimes they don't have a name. Their creation has given me joy, despair, friends, money, and backache.”
- Geoffrey Swindell
“I first touched clay at age 40 and knew immediately that I had been a potter all along. I love to make pots! For me, the joy and the challenge comes from making things that will become an intimate part of the daily lives of others – pots that will be held, eaten from, poured from, sipped or even licked from. For me the making of pots is a way to celebrate the mundane rituals of daily life and to make them holy.”