“After 30 years of potting, it is still a daily act of exploration and daring. I know I’m making strong work when I have the joyful experience of the finished piece staring back at me as if I had nothing to do with it being there.”
Strange as it is, I can actually relate to that statement. However, walking into George Pearlman’s gallery, it’s evident that this ceramicist has spent decades developing mastery of form and a unique glaze palette. George Pearlman’s elaborate brushwork is, well, fabulous! That’s all I can say!
“Porcelain remembers every single touch”, he states. “You have to consider it’s point of view.”
George creates bowls, teapots, and vases, each unexpected in style and structure.
“Form is a vast universe. The pots are in actuality the empty space that they contain,” he further explains.
We spent a few minutes in the gallery as he told of spending eight months constructing the building with his own hands and the help of friends. No small accomplishment for a potter. Leaving the gallery to head down to the studio, I lose my breath just a bit. A seemingly endless table of pots waiting for color, stand in testimony to the time and energy it took to shape them.
George mixes his glazes from raw materials. “This is basically the periodic table right here!”
Porcelain allows for a more vibrant range of colors as opposed to stoneware. Color is key in George’s work. Vibrant and dramatic but quite soothing to look at.
A six-week stay in Riga, Latvia for an artist symposium was a pivotal point in George’s career, molding his thinking and process. He arrived just as the Soviet Union was beginning to fall! There were many exciting stories to tell. But he was left with one prominent impression; the Latvians hold on to their craft with a passion. Their culture, their identity, their very being, speaks through their craft.
We continued to visit and discuss our viewpoints on art and craft. “The creative act is fulfilling in time of stress; it is a privilege to be able to do it,” George said, recalling the events of his visit across the world. I agreed. One needs to have determination and will to continue creating. “Essentially, it takes a lifetime to produce work that will support you.”
George Pearlman’s one of a kind pottery has been shown at many fine art galleries and museums including the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
His work is available during the summer at his gallery in St. George, Maine. Please see his website for hours and directions.
In the Midcoast area, his work can also be purchased at Craft Gallery in Rockland, Gleason Fine Art in Boothbay, and New Era Gallery on Vinalhaven. Please click on this link for other shows and venues.