Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Quick Bio

It's been pointed out repeatedly that I should get around to this posting. The personal Bio.
I've never been too thrilled to toot this particular horn, but hey... So while I'm waiting for parts for the kiln to finally to show up, and the rain to we go.

My name is Zygote. I'm a semi-retired technical foundry artisan, a jeweler, a ceramicist, and a gentleman's gardener. I turned 40 this year!
I was born in late sixties in Cedar Rapids Iowa, a beautiful, agrarian city nestled along a river and among farm fields and old oak forests.
It's a community that traditionally thought with its hands. It's a community that values and takes great pride in its laborers, thinkers, craftsmen, and artists and it still raises its’ children with the belief that much of life’s wisdom is found through the handle of a shovel and through encouraging a curious exploration of the natural world.
As a 16 year old, I was encouraged to begin formal art training and left home to attend Memphis Academy of Arts to study drawing, sculpture, and silversmithing. By the age of 20, I had established the beginnings of a private silversmithing studio for ongoing personal nighttime studies and had accepted my first position as a technical foundry artisan in an arts foundry in Arizona. The next decade was spent working with groups of artisans providing technical assistance to professional artists in producing bronze works for private collections, museums, and large public art works for display throughout the southwest, west coast, and pacific rim countries.
In 2000 my wife and I moved our growing family to Stockton, California. I really needed a few years to relax and begin a new creative path in ceramics and gardening while we began raising 2 young children.
Over the past 3 years, most of my personal studio activities has been focused on creating personal silver and ceramic work for the FetishGhost collection and serving my local community through my new studio, RedGate Ceramics. Through RedGate I create a distinctive high quality body of domestic ceramic wear that speaks specifically to my local markets, and is beginning to cater to a handful of regional galleries. I really enjoy my new path in ceramics and my work keeps improving as I push forward. The best part is having a artistic vehicle that allows me to interact closely with my community.

But... it's my affair with FetishGhost that's drawn the most attention though. For over the past 20 years, I've generally been known for my unique approach to handcrafted sterling macabre. The silversmithing studio is firmly anchored in the past. I use a mix of traditional preindustrial silversmithing and jewelers skills to create my Gothic SteamPunk designs, eschewing any premade or mass produced parts or findings. I've been dancing with this muse since 1988
and I love making subtle and noodlely detailed work done in a heavy & stylized motifs of the North American Southwest Macabre (now part of a developing Southwest Goth aesthetic). Lately I've started to enjoy realizing more of my rather “operatic” designs. These are designs, that while they are made to be sensuously experienced by the wearer, their obvious intent is to project the wearers chosen personality.

As always, I'm really excited about the next group of pieces. I'm hooked on the thrill of discovery and
something new is always bound to happen. Now that the children are getting older, things could get really strange.

I can't wait!


TotusMel said...

I love hearing personal stories! Thanks for sharing and I love your work...but you knew that!

Todd said...

I enjoyed reading your story!! I grew up near Mason City, Iowa! Lovely place to grow up.
Todd in Santa Fe

Anonymous said...

hey i just got to a bit of your blog today. some coincidences there too. after my undergrad in clay (class of '82), i ended up casting bronze at SIU in carbondale, IL. our work there consisted of exactly what you did in arizona (i think), probably on a much smaller scale. was shidoni considered a competitor of your foundry? i looked at your cups on etsy and they are really nice. i think the crawly glazes work beautifully. looking forward to going back and reading past posts.

The Barefoot Potteress said...

very interesting artist's journey.


t.s. Linzey said...

Wow. Serendipitously, I just found your site and noticed some of my work posted there; ultra-wonderful compliment from an excellent artist. Thanks kindly and I really dig your work as well. I was just offered a solo show at the Pence Gallery in Davis so maybe you can peek at that and we can meet/chat (though, that is a year-off...). Drop a note at and spy recent works (last three months). I also some top secret, in-progress isms I am sweating-out for my first show (solo)(gulp!) in Chicago this June (Linkin Park area). Peace and more fine art in the world,

t.s. =)

JMax VB said...

Thank you for sharing your your knowledge. I have been a part time potter for years and am just now trying the cone 6 thing. I used your glossy liner white over amber with outstanding results. It work well over Licorice also. If I figure out how to send a picture I will. Thanks, J Max VB

Scott Cooper said...

Great bio -- glad you succumbed to the pressure to toot that particular horn.