I have always been interested in the human form and began with figure drawing, then in the early 1970’s I studied wood sculpture at Foothill College in the evenings while working at Stanford Research Institute. Eventually I bought a cabin near Mendocino and began sculpting in clay and in wood as well as experimenting with making molds and casting. In the early 1980’s I studied photography at San Francisco’s City College, then traveled extensively throughout Europe, Tunisia, and rural America while teaching and working in community economic development. Photos taken over some 30 years of travel and engagement in local communities inform my sculpture today. Since retiring to Mendocino in 2008, I have been working in clay. My work has been shown at the Gualala Art Center, Odd Fellows Hall, and the Mendocino Art Center.
Paul moved to the Mendocino coastline in the spring of 2010 to experience his lifelong desire to live by the seaside and to rekindle his creativity. The ceramics studio at the Mendocino Art Center was a significant lure to Mendocino. Paul is inspired by nature. Walking the beaches and coastal bluffs, breathing in the fresh sea air and hiking in the sublime Redwood forests brings Paul to a state of being in which he connects with the divine. Paul’s focus is allow his creativity to surface through his love of nature, especially the ocean, to guide his passions through creating art in clay.
Paul was fascinated with clay from the moment he saw a potter throwing on the wheel as a teenager. His High School ceramics teacher Marge Sivers was influential in encouraging his artistic pursuits. Creating art in clay became his passion. He set up his own ceramics studio during High School and pursued his passion. In the early 90's he briefly studied with the late Roger Lang at Metro State College of Denver. Paul taught Adult Ed classes in Jefferson County, Colo. for almost 6 years. In 1995 he moved to Washing state and worked for an Artist in Canada creating molds and producing limited edition pieces of Ceramic Art for Martin Schlissler. Paul took a break from working in clay in 1999, attended Massage school in Boulder Colo. and became a Certified Massage Therapist. Paul works as a Massage Therapist in Mendocino County and creates pottery at the Mendocino Art Center.
I am grateful to say I was born and raised in Mendocino. I began throwing pots in High School at Mendocino Art Center with instructor Bill Brazill. I was instantly hooked. Sports were a main focus of mine throughout my youth. By my senior year of High School I was captain of the Varsity soccer and basketball teams. Mid-soccer season I broke my leg in a car accident. No longer mobile, the potter's wheel became my outlet. I was extremely dedicated to honing my throwing skills and during this period I was quite prolific. I graduated from Chico State University in 2009, majoring in Media Arts while also studying ceramics and music. I am now a shelf renter at Mendocino Art Center and enjoy spending my time there making mostly utilitarian pottery like drums, flower pots, beer steins and large bowls.
In addition to ceramics, I also practice photography, video, graphic design, web development and music production.
I am a partner in the Ravenscry Studio, a cooperative studio in the Inglenook area. There are several of us working from this space. We fire electric bisque, cone 5/6 glaze and saggar. I am mainly a functional potter, greatly influenced by Japanese ceramics. I am not represented by any galleries at this time. My work is available at the studio. We welcome studio visits. Please check the Mendocino Ceramics calendar for special sales and events.
I started out as a functional potter and often begin sculptures on the wheel. I fire them in a brick box in my backyard using sawdust and redwood duff for fuel, or in the wonderful shared wood, salt and soda kilns on the coast. (Thank you Nick Schwartz, Hugh Dakkers and the Mendocino Art Center.) Over time, my work has loosened to reflect my interest in the forms of the natural world and in the interconnectedness of all life. Looking closely at the world around me, tiny details become huge and abstract. My first sculptures were human-sized; these have evolved to a more intimate scale. I hope for pieces that evoke some mysterious found object – a seed, a leaf, a shell, a bone. If I am successful the viewer will ask, “Where did you find it?” and, “Can I touch?” I still make functional pottery too.
Moss Rock has been an artist for more than thirty years. Starting at the Arkansas Art Center, she moved to the mountains in Colorado and finally settled here in the North Coast. She shows her work at the Mendocino Arts Center and other local galleries in Mendocino County.
Moss Rock’s inspiration comes from the clay itself and from the natural beauty of the plants, rocks, and ocean. Each piece becomes its own persona, so no two forms are the same. She expects each piece to challenge the mind of the observer through its shape, form and color. The common thread that comes through in her work is her fascination with roundness and curves. She likens the work of the potter to these words from the traditional folk hymn, “Simple Gifts:”
To turn, to turn, ’twill be our delight
‘till by turning, turning, we come round right.
My work is the tangible result of my fascination with the eternal rhythms of shape and form, roundness and movement. I make organic forms – pieces of sculpture that look as if they have grown from the ground of my imagination.
When I work with clay, I experience a feeling of expansion seeing and sensing something new and unusual taking shape in my hands. Creating organic forms with glazes and clay is a way I can experience flux and plasticity deepening my connection to the earth and to my own internal rhythms.
Ravenscry Studio by appointment 707-964-3466
I am a long-time local, having lived in the area since 1969. I have been potting since 1982. I was trained at College of the Redwoods, Mendo. coast branch, under Bob Zvolensky and Steve Larkin, and by fellow students Jack Sears, Marty Bird, Leslie Campbell, Nancy Milano, Ed Monson and others. I also spent a few months at the Mendocino Art Center R.O.P. pottery program under Tony Marsh. In addition, I have attended numerous workshops, and read many books and magazines.
I do primarily cone 10 functional pottery, gas reduction or wood-fired, sometimes salted. I have invented my own line of glazes, using local materials such as river silt, wood ashes, and local clays and muds, along with more commonly used feldspars, flint, etc.