Garry Childs

I love the title of this show, “Combinations”.  I don’t recall which one of us suggested it other than that it wasn’t me, but as soon as it was suggested I immediately and enthusiastically said yes. Pottery is all about combinations. It begins with a combination of earth and water after all, then combine that with fire. Add a combination of glass forming materials and you have a glaze. Then there are combinations of form and surface, colors and textures.

My work for the show has been done with the title of the show in mind.

A few years ago I started doing some pots that I call the “Red Clay Series”. These pots use local clays that I dig straight from the ground applied to the surface of the pots to develop very interesting and natural textures. That process has evolved to include other materials that add additional color and texture. I have several vases in this show that utilize this technique combined with the glazing and carving seen on most of my work. Additionally there are two heavily textured large platters that are intended to be used as wall hangings. I also have some pots that use a metallic glaze with similar materials applied over the surface to develop texture along with bright, strong colors. The “Combinations L’Orb” are some that I am quite pleased with. There isn’t any carving at all on these

I have a new blue color that I am using in combination with a black glaze on a couple of pieces for the show. It also works nicely with my red glaze. And of course my usual combination of glazed and carved planters, vases, bowls and platters will be on display throughout the gallery.


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Not Alone

2nd try
Garry Childs
My work is formed on a potters wheel from terra-cotta clay. I glaze my pots when they have reached a state potters call “leather hard”. This is when the clay has stiffened up enough to handle but is not yet completely dry. Several coats of one or more glazes are then applied onto the piece, usually by spraying. I sometimes add more colors by brushing and spraying pigments over the glaze.  I then carve through the glaze into the still damp clay to achieve the various patterns that you see on my pots.  After completely drying, the pieces are fired in a gas kiln to 2,125 degrees.
Although the shapes and form of my work is always of primary concern to me, the pieces I’ve done for this show have a heightened emphasis on color. I am constantly tweaking my glaze formulas in order to make subtle changes in hue and texture.  This time I have also used two completely new colors in the show. One is a sky blue overspray that I apply over another glaze. It has a nice, almost lacy texture when applied at just the right thickness.
The red glaze on my red and black pieces is also a new color. I have periodically experimented with reds over the past several years and am very happy with my newest results. This particular formula seems to be working very well. It utilizes one of the new commercially available red stains that can be used at much higher temperatures than this type of red could normally be fired. Combining this color with the black is particularly effective with a bit of carving in the black areas that lets the earthy red of the clay show through.
Pottery is made with hands and should be “looked at” with hands. I want everyone who sees  my work in this show or anywhere else to feel free to touch, pick up and handle the pots. Texture is very important and the curves the of shapes are very tactile. Try it, you’ll see.
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Garry'a vase

I am a Potter. A Craftsman. My art comes from a long term relationship between my materials, my tools and my heart.

My primary material is clay, Red Clay in particular. I got serious about red clay while throwing at a Pottery in Vass NC somewhere around 1980. At that time we were making a lot of large unglazed redware jardinieres, strawberry jars and such. Thick pots made fast from soft clay, not much refinement of shape there but I loved the way that clay felt running through my fingers and the earthy, almost swampy smell of it. Taking that most common of muds and learning what I can do with it is a process that began for me then and continues now.

All of my work is formed on a Potter’s Wheel. Potters have all manner of tools. Sticks, wires, cutters of all kinds, almost anything can be used for something in working with clay. The Wheel however, is another matter. It is an instrument. And like a musical one it takes many, many hours of daily practice and repetition to become proficient. I first sat down at a kick wheel in a high school art class in 1972 or maybe ’71, it’s getting hard to recall. I got hooked right away and have been trying to get good at it ever since.Garry at the wheel

It is very important to me that my work be accessible to people. I don’t make pots for art galleries or museums, I make them for people’s homes. My bowls and platters look best on tables with food being shared by families and friends, planters and vases with someones favorite herb or fresh flowers. Some pieces certainly are more decorative in nature. Those are an expression of my joy in the process and hopefully become a part of someones day to day life.

In my thinking “Intersections” is about the intersection of form and surface. Form or shape that grows and expands from within is the essence of all my pieces. Glazes and carving are used to emphasize the shapes and bring color and texture to the surface.

Garry Childs


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