Wenaha Gallery features work of David Raynalds
By TAMMY MALGESINI
Drawing inspiration from world-renowned ceramicist Betty Feves, David Raynalds said his early introduction to art was key to his hands-on work.
A native Oregonian, the Portland man was born in Ontario and moved with his family to Stanfield when he was less than a year old. His junior high and high school days were spent in Pendleton, where he said he benefited from Feves’ involvement in the arts community and with the Pendleton School District’s board of education.
At Pendleton High School, Raynalds took art classes from David Remington. He also utilized his interest and talents working on decorations for mixers, building floats, running lights and electronic gear. And, during his senior year, he was president of the science club.
After graduating from Pendleton in 1970, he attended Blue Mountain Community College for a year and then went on to study geology at Portland State University. He then embarked on a 30-year career as a cabinet maker.
Raynalds said he incorporates his woodworking experience with his pottery. He specializes in slab built ceramics, which involves hand-shaping slabs of clay into finished pieces, including spheres, platters, plates, bowls, planter boxes and more. The process is unlimited for someone like Raynalds, who thinks outside of the box when creating.
“Out of the Box,” an exhibit featuring Raynalds’ work, runs Monday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Wenaha Gallery, 219 E. Main St., Dayton, Washington. The official reception is being held at the close of the show, but Raynalds will be in Greece for a watercolor workshop. However, he will be available at the gallery during the opening day from 4-6 p.m. and invites people to stop in.
For the past six years Raynalds has also been painting with watercolors and doing urban sketching. However, he specializes in slab ceramics.
“Ceramics seems to be the perfect medium to create 3D objects quickly,” he said. “I also enjoy the fact that it can last for thousands of years.”
Taking a variety of art classes while in college, Raynalds first experimented with slab ceramics in a pottery class. After creating a wide array of items, Raynalds felt his grade wasn’t reflective of his pieces due to a lack of wheel work. It was his wife who, 40 years later, encouraged him give the medium another try. It didn’t take much convincing before he registered for a pottery class at Multnomah Arts Center in Portland.
Describing himself as a “born tinkerer,” Raynalds utilizes building techniques he learned in his trade as a woodworker. In addition, he does a lot of experimentation and exploration. He also makes his own molds and stamps while creating unique pieces.
In an interview with lifestyle author Carolyn Henderson, Raynalds said his finished projects are often unrecognizable from what he initially envisioned. While he might have a vague idea about what he wants to make, it often changes as Raynalds progresses with the project. In addition, his work is truly unique.
“I rarely make commissions or sets of things — I would be bored if I have to make something twice,” he told Henderson.
Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4539