For over 40 years, I have committed myself to the craft of making functional ceramic ware. I have challenged myself to constantly improve the quality of my work in the expression of form, the durability of function, and the creation of surface decoration. My effort to explore these areas is fueled by my fascination with form and function that never gets old. When you intersect those concepts with the choice of surface decoration and glaze color, the possibilities are endless and the challenge is compounded. My style of using brightly colored glaze over high fired porcelain clay has been influenced by my initial teachers, Robert Karlinsey at Loyola University, and Neil Moss at El Camino College. Their influence set me on a course of exploration in clay, that has gripped my imagination, challenged my aesthetics, enforced my work ethic and directed my creativity, to attain a level of quality that can be appreciated by those who acquire my pieces. I derive great joy in making form and function result in a unique piece that can be used and enjoyed on an artistic level.
ABOUT THE POTTER
David Porras' love for hand thrown pottery began while studying under Robert Karlinsey at Loyola University and while studying under Neil Moss at El Camino College in Los Angeles, California. He improved his throwing skills working as a production potter at factories in Carson and Santa Monica, California. Then, he opened his own studio in Playa del Rey, making and selling functional stoneware. His later influence and introduction to working with porcelain was inspired by Master Potter, Tom Coleman.
He currently works from his home Studio in Yucaipa where his primary interest still lies in gas reduction firing with over 100 different kinds of glazes. Of late, he is exploring a variety of stoneware clays and developing strategies for electric firing. In the past two years, he has attended woodfiring workshops in North Carolina with his friend and mentor, Tom Coleman, which has afforded him another area of exploration and challenge.
Many years ago, a neighbor asked David's then five year old son, what his dad did for a living. His son knew that his job was "attorney", so that is how he answered. Now, his son had only seen his father working on pottery in his garage studio, so when asked, "What does an attorney do?", he said that an attorney makes pots. And he was correct. David is also a partner with the law firm of Varner and Brandt in Riverside, California. He has been a civil trial attorney for the past 32 years. His current litigation practice is on behalf of a major local retail company. He is admitted to practice before all courts in California.
THE POTTER AT WORK
My pieces are had thrown on a wheel and each is a unique impression of my sensitivity to the clay and its potential to spring into a shape. The unknown factors are constant; the capabilities of the clay, the interactions of the glaze chemicals, and the firing process. In combination, these elements frustrate and amaze me. Each piece I complete is a step that presents a path to a new challenge. Making a finished piece of pottery is a complex series of steps that challenge my ability to plan and execute the creative process while using the necessary skills needed to obtain a certain result. The porcelain clay fires white and allows for an ideal background for a wide range of glaze colors which I use to highlight the shape and evoke movement on the surface.
My professional life as a lawyer is an intellectual challenge and is filled with problem solving and dispute resolution. These endeavors fill my Monday through Friday. On Saturday, Sunday and most evenings, I am a potter, and my physical energy and sensitivity to materials is my challenge. I simply enjoy making things from clay. When someone likes my work, there is no dispute and gratification rules the day.