Gail Van de bogurt; ceramic and watercolor artist
lover of life and all things big and small
Casey giakas: Potter
caseys' ceramic work combines form with function. Concentrating on creating beautiful and innovative wares for everyday use. She likes to focus on pushing the envelope on everyday tableware and other items for your home. She thinks about creating surface applications that will flow cohesively with certain glazes to represent the inspiration that she draws from living on St John, or from some of her travels around the world. Purposely altering her forms creates an intimate experience between people and her pots. Feeling a thumb print here, or an indention there reveals that a person made this and gave some extra time and thought to how one might interact with this piece; that the maker gave it a little something extra to make it comfortable to use and a household favorite.
Gail Van de Bogurt’s functional clay work is both refined and playful. Her gift for combining form and imagery resonates throughout her three dimensional work from functional pottery to sculptural boxes to large multi-component sculptures. She likens the form, whether a teapot or a sculpture, to a three dimensional canvas where her brushwork creates another level of motion and meaning.
Gail earned her BFA in Ceramics from the Cleveland Institute of Art. After graduation she moved to Stony Brook, NY where she taught Ceramics in the evening program at SUNY. She worked and exhibited as a studio potter at Mills Pond House in Smithtown and Gallery North in Setauket. Moving to St John She was a co-founder of Bajo el Sol Gallery at Mongoose Junction, now owned by Tom and Livy Hitchcock. She spent ten years developing a ceramic arts program at Maho Bay Camps with a focus on developing sustainable ceramic technologies. Gail is also one of the Resident Artists at Caneel Bay Resort offering watercolor painting classes for guests and exhibiting paintings at Caneel’s Turtle Bay lounge with pastel painter Livy Hitchcock.
Together with ceramic artist and friend Casey Giakas,she currently offers classes in ceramics and watercolor painting at their Pottery in Paradise Studio and Gallery located at Pickles Deli in Coral Bay.
Casey says of her work “Pottery is a nurturing and humbling medium to work with. It allows you to push the limits but reminds you every time you take it too far! It’s so flattering for me to hear that one of my pots is ‘your favorite’. I want to make the cup you use every morning to start your day, or the bowl that you chose to put your comfort food in, the small tumbler that toasts your new favorite experience or achievement. I think it’s important to be surrounded by unique and beautiful handmade things, it reminds us how sweet life can be in a world of chaos.”
Moving to St. John in September of 2006 Casey remained “On Island” for three and a half years before she decided she need more life experiences. Life took her to Montana to work at a small production studio, and Italy to assist at La Meridiana International Ceramics School in Tuscany.During that time she couldn’t stay away from St. John though, returning for a month or two here and seven months there.
Finally after much consideration she decided to make St. John her home. With her long time, dear friend and mentor Gail Van de Bogurt they have opened Pottery in Paradise moving the former Maho Bay Clay Works to a new location taking the best of the past to a new future for life and pottery on St. John.