Rob Pulleyn

I am in love with the basic material of ceramics: wet clay.  I have, for some wonderful reason, become comfortable with the language of clay so that working with it is exhilarating, frightening, mysterious…and totally satisfying.

While I have no academic background in clay, I have studied under some great teachers including:  Kathy Triplett, George Bowes, Richard Notkin, Steven Heinemann, Yeh-Wen Kuo, Richard Burkett and Anne Hirondelle.

I am most creative when I’m working with restrictions.  Some of my ceramic work for the last several years has had as its restriction – the ability of the pieces to hold water.  Many of my forms are obvious in this, others less so.  I think of these works as sculpture with a hidden ability to be functional.  Other work I do is more obviously sculpture.  I enjoy creating both.

The surfaces of my work are manipulated both before and after I fire them.  I do a lot of “marking” in the wet stoneware clay and apply multiple layers of underglazes, stains and oxides.  The pieces are usually fired many times to build up layers of color and texture.  I rarely use glazes.  With each piece, I force myself to do something I’ve never done before:  a form, a texture, or a color, for instance.  This means each piece is an experiment of sorts.  It also means I destroy a lot of evidence, but it keeps the anxiety level sufficiently high and the joy of success addictively sweet.

Prior to my work in clay, I was involved with contemporary fiber for 30 years.  Old man.


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