Among the most masterful glaze painters working within the American raku tradition, Sheldon Ganstrom has spent over four decades exploring and developing a unique and personal palette of glaze variations and firing techniques. Hard edge, geometric abstract glaze painting occasionally punctuated by the earthy, organic edges of the clay invites entry into a world of pure emotion. Utilizing incredible colors, textures and smoke affects, his complex and contrasting design elements express the dramatic shift of life and relationships. A master potter, Ganstrom’s expertly crafted ceramic forms allow his glaze paintings to escape the wall and enter the world on a three dimensional canvas full of actual textures and tactile wonder.
As an artist, Sheldon Ganstrom began his education as a painter and print-maker before discovering the expressive, sculptural potential of ceramics. By focusing on electric kiln fired glazes, smoked in post firing reduction, Ganstrom has developed an extensive and unique glaze palette. Carefully designing and executing his glaze paintings over days, even weeks; each work is submitted to the demanding test of fire. Intense focus and technical expertise is required as Ganstrom pulls his glazed piece from the kiln while the glaze is still molten and the clay hot enough to accept the effects of the smoke. The risk and adventure of the smoking process adds subtle variation to his meticulous glaze painting producing a unique work that combines his carefully controlled painting with the spontaneous patterns of the smoking process.
After a decade of teaching, Sheldon Ganstrom has exclusively dedicated
himself to his studio practice for the last three decades. Exhibiting in art events across America, this graduate of Kansas State University has work in public and private collections across the United States, China, Japan, Europe and Russia and is featured in numerous books and publications. “Raku: Origins, Impact, and Contemporary Expression” at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, CA was a career highlight as “Pilgrimage Relic” was purchased for the museum’s permanent collection.