George Breisch Gonzalez talks about his creative process:
The medium that I am most passionate about is clay because I am fascinated by the historical cultural origins of ceramics and the incredibly important role that clay works has had throughout human history. It amazes me to imagine how many uses clay has had in people’s everyday lives from antiquity to contemporary society. But most amazing to me are the ways in which potters have learned to master and control the power of fire. Fire has always been a symbol for destruction, but the clay artist has learned to use fire to create, to manipulate the clay and manifest a new existing object from the mind, much like an alchemist or shaman.
Raku is my favorite firing process. It’s an American variation of a centuries old Japanese glaze firing technique. Raku differs from other firing processes in that, as the fired work reaches a temperature of about 1800 degrees in the kiln, rather than letting them cool in the kiln as with other firing processes, in raku, I quickly open the hot kiln and extract the glowing red pots using steel tongs. At this point, there are a number of ways in which to manipulate the hot pots to attain extremely unique glaze effects such as quickly placing the glowing hot pieces in a container and throwing combustible materials on them. A fire then ensues against the pieces which later results in one of a kind glaze finishes such as glossy swirls of multi colored metallic lusters that are virtually impossible to recreate.
The designs I use to adourn my pottery are symbols for sacred geometry like the fern and the tree or flower of life. They represent what I believe to be the overall theme of my work over the years; that of transcendence to the sacred and how we perceive and invoke deeper meanings in all things around us. Throughout the ages, societies of peoples have used symbols to represent the religious and metaphysical mysteries of the universe and our existence.