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Glenn Tanzer

Glenn Tanzer

2536 NC 181 By Appointment Only
Morganton, NC 28655

Phone: 828-433-0471

Artist statement

I have a deep almost innate need to be creative. Currently I’m working with pottery and it is filling my need to create. In the past I have worked with metal, wood, bone, ivory and other natural materials to make objects of art. I would like to use the knowledge that I have with these materials and share it with others through teaching. My experience teaching wilderness survival classes has influenced my preference for natural materials. My goal is to be able to earn a living with the knowledge that I have acquired and to keep making art for people to enjoy. I find it fulfilling to help others be creative. To see the joy on someone’s face after they have made an object of art is very satisfying.

I have chosen stoneware cone 10 a clay to work with for its strength and durability. It’s not for granny’s tea set its more for papa’s whiskey jug. When I make a piece of pottery I know that it could last for 100’s of years well past my life time and become a family heirloom or wind up in a museum. That makes me feel very good about what I do. I prefer wood fired and salt fired kilns for the look these give to the finished piece. With wood I can get a rustic look and when the surfaces blush a more primitive look is achieved.  With salt, the unglazed surface will have an orange peel look. Both of these methods give the pottery an earthy appearance. I tend to make pottery with a folk potter look, even though I have been classically trained. The folk pottery or early American pottery can have a very simple look to it with gentle curves and transparent glazes which add to its simplicity. Pottery made at this time in history was utilitarian and used daily.

My current work is a learning experience. I’m taking shapes that I’ve been making and using new decorating techniques .Slip trailing which is like drawing with liquid clay, using a squeezable container with a small nozzle. Sgraffito is a process where a coat of slip is applied to the surface and then the design or pattern is carved through the slip revealing the clay body beneath. Another method that I’m experimenting with is making the clay surface to look like carved wood. This is done when the clay is leather hard and the process is almost the same as carving wood.

I’m always trying new, creative ways to get the job done.