Castroville Pottery Artists
At Castroville Pottery, we are pleased to feature the work of several talented ceramic artists in our Gallery. While all of our artists are experts in ceramic design and production, each is highly-regarded for his own unique talents and contributions to the arts.
Tim Kelley's vision is to create functional and artistic pottery exclusively in Castroville, to develop throwing classes and advanced pottery techniques, and to make ceramics available to Castroville and South Texas potters who would like to display and sell their work.
John Nelson has always enjoyed the feel of earth in his hands. Currently, John is an adjunct instructor in Ceramics at the Southwest School of Art & Craft in San Antonio. He enjoys the process of creating functional pieces that make an artistic statement with a balanced feeling to the user.
Charles Haile is an architect by training, but a potter by passion. His work tends toward simple geometries and crisp volumes with graphic surface embellishment that reflects his architectural roots. He has been working in clay for almost ten years, and looks forward to many more.
Denise Martin received her training in ceramics from Sam Houston State University, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Glassell School of Art, Federal Furnace Pottery and the Southwest School of Art & Craft. Martin has been working in clay since 1975 and is currently employed with the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department teaching a wide range of art and clay classes, and as adjunct faculty with the South West School of Art and Craft, Inspire Fine Art Center and Castroville Pottery and teaches Majolica workshops in San Miguel, Mexico.
She produces her line of Layered Majolica at her studio on the South East side of San Antonio
Her layered majolica has been displayed in galleries and shops in the US, Virgin Islands, Mexico and Canada.
Dale Neese is a full time ceramicist with a pottery studio in Helotes Texas. He graduated with a degree in ceramics from Middle Tennessee State University in 1973 and has over 35 years of clay experience. Dale is a past president of the San Antonio Potters Guild. His devoted interest in ceramics has taken him to Italy and twice to The People's Republic of China to attend universities and workshops taught by many prestigious ceramic teachers and clay artists. Dale's personal clay work as earned many awards and recognition from various competitions, art fairs around the United States. Dale's most recent merit award was given by Juror Dick Hay for his two vessels at the Dallas Regional Ceramic Competition earlier in 2009. He is an adjunct teaching faculty member of the Southwest School of Art and Craft.
Hank Drennon received his BFA in Ceramics and MFA in Sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago. He has exhibited widely and has taught at Austin Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Northwest Vista College, the Southwest Craft Center and the University of Illinois. He has worked with potters and artists in Mexico, Southern Africa, Macedonia, Greece and Palestine. Studies in preparation for embarking on his current maiolica works began in 1991 with an opportunity to work with the Talavera Potters of Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico – potters whose works are well known for their colorful traditional patterns. These patterns and other traditional decorative motifs thus provide the background for his works – but imbedded within are images drawn from contemporary life – from staplers to Saturday-night specials, from Marilyn to Madonna.
Stewart Martin is a visual artist working primarily in clay and glass. He works as a formalist using the elements of design – line, shape, form, mark, textures, color and value – to tell stories that speak to the abstract depth and quality of the natural earthly processes of weathering, erosion, heat and fire over the effects of time. Stewart’s forms are simple in shape, volume and line to allow emphasis of the clay’s surface; early influence on his work comes from the California abstract expressionist clay movement.
Bertie Smith was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1915, and at the age of 95, she continues to make unique and whimsical pottery. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and took her first real classes at the San Antonio Witte Museum under the direction of Harding Black. Bertie and her husband, James Smith, a Naval officer, traveled to many places after World War II, such as the Philippines, Hawaii, French Morocco, and 3 years in Spain, which only expanded her interest in the arts.
By 1957, Bertie had her 1st electric kiln, which she still uses to fire metallic luster. Bertie makes one of a kind figures, and likes to integrate texture to enhance surfaces of her works. When a relief texture is not used, Bertie uses intricate combinations of painted underglaze, glaze, and luster images, which in turn, create texture-like patterns. Bertie’s opinion on clay is that, “I cannot think of my life without clay. It is like a love affair, an affair of the heart.” She has been featured in magazines, such as Ceramics Monthly, and keeps her schedule busy, by working in her studio, attending workshops, and occasionally teaching classes at the Southwest School of Art and Craft in San Antonio.