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"Everything Is as It Should Be" | Soda Fired Earthenware Thrown and Hand Built | Wood, Copper, Found Objects, Hand engraving, Silver Solder and Gold Leaf | 50 x 33 x 7 inches

Ones to Watch: Ceramic Artist George McCauley

Spotlighting the works of ceramic artist George McCauley

Written by Michele Corriel  

Michele Corriel

Other Contributions

Synchronicity A Voice in Stone Equus The Archie Bray Foundation Ones to Watch: Artist Jinni Thomas Ones to Watch: Artist Karen Bezuidenhout Ones to Watch: Rory Egelus Ones to Watch: Ceramic Artist George McCauley Ones to Watch: Painter Rick Stevens Ones to Watch: Jon Dick Ones to Watch: Mixed-media Artist Christopher Owen Nelson Ones to Watch: Diana Tremaine Ones to Watch: Josh Elliot Ones to Watch: Doug Smith Ones to Watch: David Barrett Ones to Watch: Howard Knight Ones to Watch: Silas Thompson Ones to Watch: Kristine Allphin Ones to Watch: Chris Morel Ones to Watch: Sherry Salari Sander Ones to Watch: Alan Carr Ones to Watch: Robert Royhl Ones to Watch: Robert Seliger Ones to Watch: Karen Woods Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Ones to Watch: Artist Glendon Good Ones to Watch: Painter Deladier Almeida Ones to Watch: Sculptor Stephanie Revennaugh Ones to Watch: Painter Gregory Packard Ones to Watch: Randy Stromsoe Ones to Watch: Beth Loftin Ones to Watch: Dyani White Hawk Ones to Watch: David Bardwick Ones to Watch: Donna Gans Ones to Watch: Susan Jarecky Ones to Watch: Carrie Fell Ones to Watch: Rose Masterpol Ones to Watch: Bryan Peterson Ones to Watch: Terry Karson Ones to Watch: Lisa Ronay Ones to Watch: Tracy Leagjeld Perspective: Gennie DeWeese [1921-2007] Ones to Watch: Andrew Mann Ones to Watch: Bonnie Teitelbaum Illuminations: Ones to watch Perspective: Frances Senska [1914–2009] Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Ones to Watch: Artist Ralph Wiegmann Ones to Watch: Artchitect Candace Miller Ones to Watch: Architect George Gibson Ones to Watch: Architect Nick Deaver Ones to Watch: Sculptor Bale Creek Allen Ones to Watch: Painter Brianne Janes Ones to Watch: Danae Bennett Miller Ones to Watch: Mark Edward Adams Ones to Watch: Josh Chandler Ones to Watch: Tony Abeyta Ones to Watch: Robert Spooner Marcus Ones to Watch: Ken Andrews Ones to Watch: Michael Kessler Ones to Watch: Jim Dayton Ones to Watch: Rahnee Gladwin Ones to Watch: Geoffrey Warner Ones to Watch: Gwen Samuels Ones to Watch: Kensuke Yamada Ones to Watch: Michael Greenspan Ones to Watch: Chuck Middlekauff Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Sculptor Carol Alleman Ones to Watch: Artist Kathleen Dunphy Ones to Watch: Jeweler Jesse Monongye Ones to Watch: Michael Ross Ones to Watch: Furniture maker Charise Buckley Ones to Watch: Sculptor Charles Ringer Ones to Watch: David Slonim Ones to Watch: Catherine Courtenaye Ones to Watch: Ironworker Ted Docteur Ones to Watch: Evert Sodergren Ones to Watch: Jacquelyn Bischak Ones to Watch: Guilloume Ones to Watch: David Coffin Ones to Watch: Francis Di Fronzo Ones to Watch: Jeff Pugh Ones to Watch: Geoff Parker Ones to Watch: Troy Collins Ones to Watch: Dean Mabe Ones to Watch: Shelley Muzylowski Allen Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Architect Tim Belton Ones to Watch: Anne Moore Ones to Watch: Painter Flavia Eckholm Ones to Watch: Clive Tyler Ones to Watch: Weaver Cheryl Samuel Ones to Watch: Painter Gavin Brooks Ones to Watch: Tracy Leagjeld Ones to Watch: Jared Sanders Ones to Watch: Shawna Moore Ones to Watch: Aleta Pippin Ones to Watch: Rene Gibson Ones to Wacth Ones to Watch: Mike Krupnick Ones to Watch: Matt Smith Ones to Watch: Stacy Robinson Ones to Watch: Dean L. 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LaRue Mahlke Ones to Watch: Artist Crista Ann Ames Ones to Watch: Christopher Ries Ones to Watch: Mary Bechtol In the Studio: Richard Parish Ones to Watch: Florian Roeper Ones to Watch: Greg Kelsey Ones to Watch: Andrew Denman Ones to Watch: Sandra Pratt Ones to Watch: Jeff Williams Ones to Watch: Josh Clare Ones to Watch: Daniel Weaver Ones to Watch: Nora Naranjo-Morse Ones to Watch: Marela Zacarías Ones to Watch: Glenn Dean Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Collector’s Eye: Native American folk art collector Bruce VanLandingham
October | November 2014


Ceramic artist George McCauley’s narrative sculptures convey emotional force and vitality, a reflection of ancient folklore clothed in modern myth. McCauley’s work combines modern symbols and everyday life, reaching beyond the scope of the commonplace by including ordinary objects.

“When I started making pots, everyone in my age group learned how to make pots,” he says. “That’s not stressed much anymore.”

Although his early work was utilitarian, it has since evolved, influenced by his travels, workshops and shows in other countries.

“I started paying attention to the way old Japanese potters handled the clay,” he says. “It wasn’t about preciseness; it was about the act of the making. Handprints, dings, etc. I let the clay have its own presence. I’m not afraid to touch or manipulate the clay — I want my own energy to show in the work. The clay shows the act of the making.”

His work now addresses the struggles of life.

“It’s about the sweat, love, pain and the flaws, and not about the mechanics,” he says. “This has really changed for me. I’ve come to say there’s a studied casualness about my work and it describes how I use the material.”

In each of his shrine pieces, the rich narrative springs from his own story.

“My mom is from Greece, so I was raised in that tradition,” he says. “Even though Japanese pots are a huge influence, my sculptural imagery is a reflection of my own heritage. I am not making icons, I’m not making fun of my heritage. I’m using that particular imagery because I’m drawn to it. They’re personal.”

The way in which the figures seem to emerge from the clay with a crowded sense of urgency, as well as the symbolic overtones, bring to mind classic heralds of biblical foretelling in bronze.

“There’s so much going on in every piece:

They are my own personal narrative about my own life or things we should be concerned about — love, passion, but nothing dark,” he says. “They’re often soda - fired and they are actually dark in color. They’re not glazed, so they come across like a bronze.”

Although he may refer to his technique as casual, everything McCauley does reflects his attention to intricate detail.

“After I make the slab by hand, I throw all the little pots,” he says. “I usually make 50 or 75 little pots, from 1 to 3 inches. Even the teapots have little pulled handles.”

Working on two pieces at a time, using all the parts he’s made, it takes McCauley about a month for the initial sculpture. The clay piece is then fired and finished. Some receive gold leaf, others recycled wood or metal. He doesn’t sketch, but follows the design in his head, responding to the clay as it happens.

“I work from rudimentary shapes for the figures,” the artist says. “The clay isn’t hard and I can stick the figures on the slab. Then I take it all apart, modeling the figures and placing the pots in the arms of the figures, or a bird on a figure’s head. It’s an ongoing intuitive process.”

McCauley’s work is collected internationally and was recently on display at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana. He is represented by the Turman Larison Contemporary in Helena, Montana; The Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana; and The Lewistown Arts Center in Lewiston, Montana. 

Ceramic artist George McCauley

"The 3 Graceys" | Thrown Soda Fired Earthenware | 30 x 32 x 6 inches 

"I Dream of You Dream of Me" | Soda Fired Earthenware Thrown and Hand Built | Wood, Copper Engraving, Silver Solder, Gold Leaf and Cast Aluminum | 37 x 26 x 5.5 inches