Statement and Bio

 
 

I am interested in the relationship between people and handmade objects.  As a potter, I occasionally have the opportunity to see or hear how someone is living with and using a piece that I created. This type of experience is my main motivation for creating pottery. In order to facilitate these interactions, my goal is to make pottery that is striking and functional.


While visiting a friend’s home in China, I observed, while having tea, there is an interaction between people and the pottery.  During this social time, guest and host alike consider the other first, by making sure no one has to fill their own cup.  When we participated in this activity, I reflected upon the idea that the pottery could influence the social interaction; even if only in a subconscious way.  As I build my own pieces, this memory influences what I create.


Since returning from China, I chose to focus on making pottery that combines Chinese and Japanese aesthetics.   Pottery, and its use while taking tea in China, can be seen as a representation for life.  In Japan, the pot itself represents life, as found in the tea ceremony.  Combining these traditional elements of pottery, I desire to make pieces that create similar representations and could possibly change a routine into a ritual.

Artist Statement

Bio

Darin R. Gehrke, a native of Pennsylvania, currently lives in Greenville, SC.   He recently moved to Greenville from New York City where he worked in his garment district studio and taught adult ceramics classes.  Previously, Darin taught ceramics and sculpture at The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Keystone Oaks High School.


In the fall of 2003, Darin and his wife, Cherington, moved to Guangzhou, China.  Darin researched Chinese ceramics and the disappearing hillside potteries.  For the Chinese National Day celebration, he demonstrated techniques at the Nan Feng Dragon Kiln in Shiwan, Guangdong Province, China.

 

Darin received his B.S. in Art Education with a focus in Ceramics from The Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA. While in the Art Education program, Darin studied ceramics with Chris Staley who provided him a strong foundation in the medium.

I am interested in the relationship between people and handmade objects.  As a potter, I occasionally have the opportunity to see or hear how someone is living with and using a piece that I created. This type of experience is my main motivation for creating pottery. In order to facilitate these interactions, my goal is to make work that is striking and functional.


While visiting a friend’s home in China, I observed, while having tea, there is an interaction between people and the pottery.  During this social time, guest and host alike consider the other first, by making sure no one has to fill their own cup.  When we participated in this activity, I reflected upon the idea that the tea ware could influence the social interaction; even if only in a subconscious way.  As I build my own pieces, this memory influences what I create.


Since returning from China, I chose to focus on making ceramics that combines Chinese and Japanese aesthetics.   The use of the teapot and cup while taking tea in China, can be seen as a representation for life.  In Japan, the pot itself represents life, as found in the tea ceremony.  Combining these traditional elements of pottery, I desire to make pieces that create similar representations and could possibly change a routine into a ritual.

photo by Eli Warren