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Steve Sauer

Steve Sauer of Port Orchard has been working with clay for over 30 years. An oil painting and art history student in college, Steve was inspired to concentrate on ceramics after taking a class taught by Patrick McCormick; beyond that he is largely self-taught, having had no other formal education in clay.  His evolution as an artist can be traced to contacts with many potters and artists of all media, his personal experiences, and his travels, including well-known ceramists Ruth Duckworth and Hiroshi Ogawa.  Now, Steve fires with other artists, including Jenny Andersen, at an anagama he built with artists Ken Lundemo and Mel Wallis at Seabeck on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, as well as at his own new wood kiln in Port Orchard, Washington.  His tea bowls in particular are gaining renown in collector circles, and one was recently featured in the catalog book American Shino.

In Steve’s words:  I have chosen the concept of “wabi and sabi” for the subtle beauty of the natural surface. The simplistic beauty produced by fly ash, and flame, time, and temperature in the anagama is the most appropriate for my sculptural vessels.  It can be achieved no other way  . . . At this time I see myself dedicating the rest of my life to wood fire.  Not only in the making of my own pieces, but in the promotion, education, and maintenance of the tradition of the anagama kiln, the oldest style of kiln in the history of Japanese pottery.  It has stood the test of time and for me is the most inspirational, for its ware is unmatched in its subtle beauty, organic and true-to-life processes. The community that the kiln gathers is ever-changing and soulfully engaged with one another to produce the works of its fire and artistic impulse.  

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