The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Carolyn Henderson
the Times 

Organic, Dynamic Ceramics

Talk about art


September 20, 2018

Courtesy photo

Dave Raynalds with Globe

Long before there were machines, there was – and still is – the human hand. And as miraculous and wonderful machinery is, it does not begin to compare with the creativity of the hand, impelled by the human heart and brain.

For Portland potter Dave Raynalds, ceramic plates, platters, and even globes, benefit from the direct interaction of clay and hand. Raynalds specializes in a technique call slab-built ceramics, which involves hand shaping clay – as opposed to using the pottery wheel – into its finished form.

"I prefer the spontaneous, loose, lively and organic shape that slab building can give," Raynalds says.

A professional cabinet maker for more than 30 years, Raynalds explains that he takes a woodworker's approach to working clay, because many woodworking tricks translate well to slab-built ceramics. There is an added benefit of clay over wood however:

"If you cut something too short you can add more clay and move on.

"Clay also lends itself to more organic shapes than wood. This appeals to me because complex shapes and curves can be generated very fast, as opposed to wood."

And the shapes are complex indeed, embellished by innovative glazing, texturizing, and graphics, all of which ensure that each piece Raynalds creates is distinctly unique, unlike any other pottery piece on the planet.

Raynalds is presently showing a collection of his work at Wenaha Gallery, in a special art event that runs through November 3. The gallery, located at 219 E. Main Street in Dayton, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.


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