Raku Art / Raku Artist
Gary R. Ferguson

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Recent Kudos

I just received the Raku piece that I ordered over your website and wanted to let you know how pleased I am. The piece is beautiful! Thank you for responding so quickly to the E-mail and getting it shipped right out. 
Lynn T - AZ

We love it...it will look wonderful where we wanted to hang it. 
Karen H - TX

Yours are the best works I've seen. I like cross-culturing and that interplay between styles. Lidia B - Argentina

Your work is incredibly
beautiful

Catherine W - AZ

Just to let you know that my mother really really loved the piece of Raku that you sent her  
Mimi M. - CA

Your pieces look simply beautiful Denise M. - NC

 

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Artistís Statement

As a young child, I was always interested in the arts.  I did lots of drawing and took oil painting lessons during my pre-teen years, and I took a couple of art classes in college.  Hence, I am primarily a self-taught potter.  In 1995, I threw my first pot on a wheel and was instantly hooked on this messy medium.  I quickly bought my own wheel and built a propane fired Raku kiln to fire the pieces. Since that day I have read books and magazines, visited museums, and attend workshops to learn new forms, techniques, and methods of working with clay.

My main focus has been with wheel-thrown forms, because I enjoy the fluidity and symmetry of the thrown form. I have started experimenting with using a small blowtorch to quickly dry portions of the piece while it is still on the wheel so that more extreme forms can be thrown without collapsing.

My primary firing technique is Raku. Raku is a firing method in which the piece is glazed and fired in a kiln to a temperature of about 1800 F. When the glaze has melted, the piece is removed from the red-hot kiln with metal tongs, and placed in a metal container with combustible materials like newspaper or sawdust. The red-hot piece immediately ignites the combustible material causing flames and smoke. A lid is placed on the container and the fire consumes the oxygen in the container. This lack of oxygen creates what is called a reduction atmosphere. This atmosphere with the smoke, react with the clay and glaze to create unpredictable metallic and lustrous effects. As a result, every piece is unique because the exact process can never be reproduced.

My main influences have been from Japanese, Chinese, and Celtic art. I am drawn to the geometric patterns that are present in much of this type of art and use it in designing my own pieces. I often times will combine elements from various cultures into a single form, such as Celtic symbols on a classic shape, or Chinese designs on a Greek form.

I maintain a web site at www.garyrferguson.com with which I display a gallery of pieces, schedule of events, and a comprehensive list of Raku recipes that I have collected from various sources.

I am also a member of the Idaho Clay Arts Guild who maintain a site at www.idahoclayartsguild.org

My studio resides in Nampa, ID where my wife, Gina, our sons, Connor and Trevor live.

I can be reached via e-mail at pottery@garyrferguson.com

Gary R. Ferguson

 

Galleries

If you have a gallery and are interested in showing my work, please contact me. 

Publications

Fired up with Raku (2006) by Irene Poulton (chapter contribution)

Raku Secrets (2005) by Gary Ferguson

Raku Glazes (2004) by Gary Ferguson

500 Bowls (2003) by Lark Books

Pottery Making Illustrated Oct 2003

Awards

2000 Best of Division - Pottery-Stoneware - Western Idaho Fair

2000 First Place - Raku - Western Idaho Fair

2000 First Place - Wheel Thrown - Western Idaho Fair

2000 First Place - Fine Arts Pottery - Western Idaho Fair

2000 Featured Artist of the Month - Nampa Civic Center

Workshops/Seminars

2003 - Richard Notkin

2002 - Robert Piepenburg

2002 - Gil Harrison

2000 - Brad Schwieger

1998 - Yoshiro Ikeda

1997 - Josh DeWeese

1997 - Jim Romberg

Where my pieces have been collected

Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado 
Florida  
Idaho 
Illinois 
Georgia
Kentucky
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan

Minnesota 
Missouri
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Texas
Virginia
Washington 

International 
England
Guam
Italy