JR Artisan SpotlightStephen Gerould
How did you get your start in the industry:
In 1982, I was introduced through a friend and local Designer to Wayne Martin Inc., a Jack Lenor Larsen (and multiline) showroom in Portland, Oregon. That representation grew to related showrooms around the USA. A strong interest in crafts, and pottery in particular, started early in my life. I remember being fascinated by early American pottery in our home and the wonderfully crafted Blue and White Asian Ceramics my Mother’s family had collected in San Francisco. In high school, apprenticed w/ Ceramicist Erik Nyholm in Silkeborg, Denmark. My formal arts education was at the California College of Arts and Crafts (Oakland, California) which was followed by a two year Artists Residency at the Archie Bray Foundation (Helena, Montana). Now in a full time pursuit of Ceramics I was showing at West Coast Crafts Fairs and Art Galleries. During this time, the Smithsonian selected some of my work to add to their collection showcasing Crafts in America
Describe your work in 5 words or less:
Evolved classic ceramic forms, with radiating color
What inspires you?:
European, American, Asian, and Mid-Century Ceramics: Their myriad paths speak to The Majesty of Form. Craft springing from well rooted cultures energizes and captures my imagination. These days my psychic backdrop is found in the unbounded beauty and variety of the natural world that surrounds me living in the Pacific Northwest
Describe your studio/work space:
Organized chaos, punctuated by tidy work areas for specific tasks, surrounded by inspirational image boards or objects everywhere. My studio is surrounded by a large garden situated in the forested hills of Portland Oregon. I’m very fortunate to have a few very talented souls to assist in the production and oversee logistics, all while being cheered on by our happy lil’ Australian Shepard… Juno
What’s makes your brand stand out from the rest:
I have a direct hand in producing all of the Stephen Gerould Lamps sold. Everything we ship is made per order, as specified. I try to stay true to the nature of the material at hand, and enjoy sourcing, exploring arcane as well as current ceramic materials.I am the originator of all clay bodies and glaze formulas, plus the designer of all styles in the line. I harvest and reformulate recycled in house glaze materials, creating limited edition tertiary colors that are among our most popular glazes. My five decades of experience enables me to develop custom glazes for Designers wishing to match a specific fabric or paint color. The technical challenges of creating a new glaze is endlessly intriguing, my pursuit of that is long standing and ongoing
Any new techniques, mediums, colors, aesthetics you are experimenting with?
Over the years, I have collected some interesting + rare archival ceramic materials. The aim is to create subtle yet surprising, one of a kind, asymmetric glaze surfaces. The results are organic, appropriate and unique to Stephen Gerould shapes. One of these is a highly fluxed black, yielding an emotive contrast with neighboring colors. I’ve also been pushing glazes to create different crackle patterns. By altering a glaze after it has been glaze fired, then re-firing the ceramic piece again, results in a visually rich, complex surface.