Upstate pottery and ceramics artist Dave Sawyer will present new additions to his body of work in an exhibition titled “Wildfire ’23” Nov. 7 through Dec. 2 in Gallery II of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg.
An artist’s talk will be held Thursday, Nov. 16, as part of Spartanburg Artwalk.
“My work includes art pottery and decorative ceramic wall art,” says Sawyer. “My inspiration comes from the world around us and reflects God’s great gift of nature. Influences that can be seen in my work include a lifelong exposure to America’s western traditions and Native American cultures as well as the awe-inspiring elements of our natural world.”
He also says his work “uses both traditional and Western Raku firing techniques and includes both realistic and fanciful interpretations of my subjects. Traditional firing provides the use of a larger palette of colors and greater control of the results while the raku technique combines the interaction of clay, glaze, and fire in a rapidly changing series of environments that results in unique and often unpredictable results. I’ll often combine both traditional fired and raku fired pieces in a single work to present both a feeling of both structure and freedom.”
A native of a small Kansas farm town, Sawyer was raised in Southern California. He graduated from California Polytechnic University at Pomona with a degree in urban planning and then began a 30-year career in that took him from the sandy beaches and deserts of Southern California to the rugged coast and mountains of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound.
“With no formal art education or training but having always appreciated the ceramics of the early 20th century, I began my own work in clay in 2008 with classes at a local artisan studio,” he says. After retiring in 2016 and moving to South Carolina, he has continued to grow and expand his artistic experience. He exhibits his work in his studio gallery at Artists Collective | Spartanburg and in various shows and venues throughout the Upstate and Blue Ridge regions of the Carolinas.
The over 20 pieces in the exhibition will be available for purchase with prices ranging from $25 to $750.