Featured Artist of the Day ~ Frank Zimmermann, Ceramic Artist & Instructor
I was captivated by the beauty, simplicity, and functionality of Pueblo Indian pottery during a military tour of duty in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the early Seventies. This led me to enroll in classes to explore clay pottery. I found myself enthralled by the magical transformation of soft clay into an enduring ceramic vessel and enjoyed seeing friends and family using my pottery in daily living. I continued to explore the mysteries of fired clay in the Eighties, studying with several Northern Virginia artists, including Grace Lewis and Sybil West. In the Nineties, I relocated to the San Francisco Bay area and have since been inspired by the dynamic creative community on the West Coast.
Over the years, I've experimented with numerous clay forming techniques - from pinched, coiled and slab work to hand modified wheel thrown pieces. I've fired these forms in modern gas and electric kilns, as well as used rustic firing methods such as raku and pit fire. Throughout these explorations, I've endeavored to make pottery that captures both the interaction of the potter and the clay during the forming process, and the magic of the fire during the transformation into ceramics.
It brings me great satisfaction that many of my New Mexican pieces are still providing pleasure after 25 years of use. For that reason, stoneware is my primary focus at the Frank - Z Pottery studio. I also produce a limited number of decorative pieces fired at lower temperatures to replicate vessels made by the earliest potters. These pieces capture a more primordial fusion of earth, wind and fire. The early influence of the Southwest can be seen in both my functional and decorative pieces.