Teaches Ceramics classes on the Ukiah campus and in Laytonville.
Visit Ivan's faculty website for more information, resources and photos.
I have been fascinated with ceramics for more than 20 years. When working in clay, I try to act intuitively, sometimes very quickly --- letting things evolve spontaneously as I proceed.
My inspiration comes from objects all around me, both natural and artificial. The masks and wall reliefs are especially influenced in this way. My thrown pieces are typically traditional in shape but sometimes vary from the traditional. The use of texture gives dimension and enhances the surface decoration.
For several years, I have been involved with Mendocino College as a technician for the college ceramic studio. This led to being offered a teaching position and I now teach Raku, Saggar and Beginning Ceramics.
I was attracted to the raku and saggar processes by the unique surface effects obtained with each kind of firing. It is always exciting to dig through the ashes and expose the finished piece. The clay is frequently pushed to its limits and beyond.
The clay forms are initially bisque-fired to as high as 1750 degrees Fahrenheit, then allowed to cool. The pieces are then ready for their final firing--either raku or saggar.*
Raku firing is done very quickly. The pieces are taken from the kiln while they are still red hot (1750 to 1950 degrees F.) and are placed in a barrel of easily combustible materials. A lid is placed on the barrel, which creates a lack of oxygen that turns the unglazed parts of each piece black. Chemical changes also occur in the glazed areas, creating unique effects.
Saggar, by contrast, is a slow-firing process. The clay pieces are placed in a container and packed with sawdust, vermiculite, iron, copper and salt. The container is then placed inside the kiln. The chemical reactions create a unique coloration on each piece, usually giving it an earthy look as though it had just been excavated.
Over the past 20 years, my love for clay has continued to grow. I feel fortunate and rewarded to be able to share my creations with you.
*Raku and saggar pottery utilize a low-firing technique that makes them unsuitable for use with liquids and food.
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