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Ellis Harms

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Ellis began ceramic classes at Butte College in 1986, determined to learn wheel throwing. He began with traditional functional forms, learned to make glazes and then quickly ventured into altering his creations with carving and other innovations.

In addition to occasional reduction firing, Ellis presently works with oxidation glazes, raku, sawdust firing, oxide finished and acrylic washes. He takes pride in an unusual variety of techniques and styles.

His latest endeavor is trying to simulate coral and sea-related objects of nature. He uses porcelain clay; hand builds the piece, and then after bisque firing, uses oxides for coloration before the final firing. He has also begun simulating old wood, primarily gnarled, weathered and organic. He finds these projects inspiring and challenging, with no rules or limitations.

He tries to allow the clay to help dictate the direction toward the final product and attempts to “get out of the way and just let it happen.” It is a very surreal experience and has taken his work in a new, exciting direction.

In recent years he has been featured in several one-man shows in Butte County, as well as having participated in numerous Members Shows at Chico and Paradise Art Centers. Prior to his current enchantment with clay, Ellis actively painted in oils and watercolors.

In 1998, Ellis retired from school administration after 38 years. He holds a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Chico State University where he developed, “A Painting Continuum for Elementary Children,” popular with classroom teachers. He maintains a studio at his home in Paradise.

Artist’s prices beginning at $150.00.

A sampling of Ellis’ work at Petroglyphe Gallery (click any image to enlarge and scroll through)