Art In Clay
My raku pottery is wheel-thrown stoneware and porcelain. I sometimes modify a piece by reshaping it during the wet stage, or adding feet, handles, or other components. The work is then bisque-fired to 1800°F. I want a descriptive surface decoration, which requires a wide range of color. I continue to learn and work to enhance my raku glaze color palette. I use many techniques to apply decorative glaze elements, including brushwork, slip-trailing, and cuerda seca line. Although I am interested in many atmospheric firing processes, such as wood and soda-firing, my raku work is fired to 1850°F in a propane-fueled raku kiln which I constructed myself. Like other types of atmospheric firings, this low-fire process always results in one-of-a-kind pieces. On a personal level, I must like academics since I spent a very long time at universities. After almost 4 years as an art major, studying at three Oregon schools, I moved to Arizona and switched to Engineering where I earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering. After a couple of years designing medical monitors, I moved back to Oregon for an Environmental Engineering gig, and earned my MS in that at OSU. I worked for about 10 more years and, when I had bought my home and saved enough dough (I thought!), I quit and went back to ceramics. Now I probably work longer and harder than I ever did for industry, but I’m also definitely healthier and happier. And isn’t that what life is really all about? Beverly Curtis
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