LA Gallanar is inspired by techniques from Raku pottery. Raku pottery developed in Japan in the 1500s. The word Raku means enjoyment and freedom. If we contemplate the form, we are to recognize spiritual guidance. Earth, air, fire, and water is needed to make pottery. As it is very common for pottery to break during the creative process, especially in Raku, the Raku pottery that survives is said to be blessed.
In LA Gallanar's own words: "I began my voyage with clay in southern California in 1968 when my mother-in-law persuaded me to take a class with her at the park. She found she was allergic to clay, I was hooked for life."
At first I threw terra cotta hanging planters for the street fairs that were popular then. Soon I went back to my first love, hand-building and began experimenting with Raku firing. By the early 1980s, I was teaching Raku workshops - at Sweetwater Art Center in Sewickley, Touchstone Center for Crafts and Indiana University's Summer Happening, and the Community- University Evening Studies Program.
In the early 1990s, I began burnishing my pots with a polished river rock before firing to give them a soft gloss without glazing, and firing them in clay cylinders (saggars) packed with straw or sawdust and chemicals that vaporized in the enclosed atmosphere, leaving random flashes of color on the pots. The pieces in the exhibit are from that last voyage. I have been resting from it, but there is a new voyage about to begin. I wonder where that will take me?
I have solo exhibits at The Clay Place Gallery (then in Shadyside) and the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Gallery in the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Double Artist Exhibits at Sanford Gallery, Clarion and the Pioneer Crafts Council's Little House Gallery and many group shows throughout the area.