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    Randy McClelland

    About the Artist

    As a young teen, I lived in Tokyo and attended the American School in Japan. I was first exposed to clay in 1984 after taking a ceramics class with instructor Ki Nimori, and continued to do so every term until graduation. During this time, I was exposed to Japan’s fondness of ceramics and it’s impact as a cultural aesthetic; seeing people interact with ceramic forms daily. This exposure, in varying degrees, was an influence to my present body of work.

    After leaving Japan in 1989, I took a ten-year break from clay, enlisted in the United States Air Force and after tours in Europe and Saudi Arabia, settled in Astoria, OR. In 1999, I enrolled in Clatsop Community College’s (CCC) computer programming program and shortly after graduating, met Richard Rowland.  I enrolled in his ceramics course and have worked with clay ever since.

    As Richard’s student, I was exposed to a wide array of technical and conceptual ceramic arts. I quickly realized there is a lot to learn about ceramics! As I attended Richard’s classes, I constantly pushed myself to improve the form, techniques and conceptual understanding of my art. While attending CCC, I learned how to load and fire kilns, explore and develop glazes, participate in formal critiques, and the science behind wood fired ceramics. I was hooked! 

    Specifically, Richard exposed me to the interactive possibilities of using local materials; I could go to the beach, collect a few crab shells, and make beautifully unique pots and glazes! Most of my current work incorporates some element of local material, either within the clay body or the surface glaze.

    For the past decade, I have been honored to participate in and support firings at Richard’s anagama, the Astoria Dragon Kiln. Much of my wood fired ceramics have been donated to the Clatsop and Tillamook county soup bowl projects, the Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) Foundation and CMH Cancer Care Center. I’ve been privileged to participate in multiple Astoria Dragon Kiln group shows. In 2006, our exhibit, “Sanctification of Place”, garnered national attention at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts exhibition. For the past three years, I have also fired with Hiroshi Ogawa’s Hikarigama kiln in Elkton, OR. It has been a rewarding and educational experience to fire with different kilns and crews as I continue my work with ceramic arts.