Richard De Vore (American, born in Toledo, Ohio 1933 — 2006)

Someone becomes an artist out of a need to communicate something he feels he can do best through visual systems – transformations of materials into complex sensuous analogies. My work is the core of my life because there are intense feelings that have to be realized through the process of doing.

One of the recognized master ceramicists in America today, Richard De Vore was known for his simple, organically inspired forms, finished in dull glazes. De Vore’s fluid, undulating forms and sinuous lines carry a suggestion of the erotic. 

De Vore’s early work recognizes the traditional forms and radical glazes of his teacher Maija Grotell. By the end of his career, he had moved on to the striking “damaged” vessels for which he is best known. They are pots but much more as well. The craft tradition is there but they are informed by an agenda that moves them into a different territory.   

His mature work engaged vessel forms and vessel scale. It could be asserted that he developed a style and stuck with it, yet he sought a metaphor rather than function. He focused on two of the age-old references to clay as a material: earth and flesh.   

De Vore explored these ideas while working within a basic structure. His signature form involved a vessel, colored in earth or flesh tones, with an irregular rim, tapering into a rounded or flat base.  Working within these parameters, he created a strikingly rich variety of work far beyond the functional tradition.