In November the Port Townsend Gallery Presents Stephen Cunliffe & Diane Gale
Stephen Cunliffe moved to the Olympic Peninsula 12 years ago, not least because of the opportunities he saw here to pursue his passion for nature photography. As he says, "where else could you be so close to the enormous variety of nature: forests, mountains, oceans, rivers and beaches, with all the diversity of wildlife that they contain." Before moving here, as a budding birder, Stephen then used his then rather modest collection of photographic equipment to help him identify the birds he had seen. Out of that grew a passion for photographing birds as works of art. In 2009 he won the Canon 'Nature Photographer of the Year' award with his popular image Avocet Kiss. Meanwhile his collection of camera equipment had grown too.
From birds he gained a greater appreciation of the impact of nature photography and the need to support the efforts to preserve the environment. Stephen made a commitment to donate the proceeds of his sales to two local organizations: The Jefferson Land Trust and the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. "I am able to create value with my photography, and I give that value straight back to the conservation of nature." Although Stephen is best known as a nature photographer, with images primarily in color, he also has a significant body of award winning black and white that will be exclusively shown in November.
Diane Gale has a potter for over 25 years. Her focus continues to be developing her own style and voice, grounded in classical American and Japanese techniques. In 2009 she was selected from a large number of candidates to participate in a juried residency in Tokoname, Japan, one of the 8 famous ancient woodfiring sites. This entailed intensive training on throwing techniques, Japanese culture, and woodfiring. Ms. Gale has studied with many nationally known potters and keeps her skills and ideas current with workshops. Gale's work is in private collections, and is currently in an Exhibition at Washington State Convention Center through January 6, 2019.
Gale's interest in atmospheric firings (where the oxygen level inside the kiln is variable) led her to woodfiring. In woodfiring, the fuel for the heating of the kiln is wood, and so the wood ash becomes part (or all!) of the glaze. Surface patterns and glaze effects are stunning. Most firings take a team of people as the firings range from 3-8 days. Gale will be showing some work from her gas kiln (also atmospheric firing), concentrating on different porcelain clay bodies, some first covered with a black slip, then glazed. This will give the glazes and pieces additional depth and movement. Also available, to complement Stephen's black and white photography, will be her "Winter Trees" line of ceramics, inspired by nature. So, you can "get mugged" with her black slip porcelain mugs, or get "bowled over" with a choice of large bowls and platters! Why eat and drink off boring?
The Port Townsend Gallery at 715 Water Street is open from 10 to 5 Sunday through Thursday, and Friday and Saturday 10 am to 6 pm. Please join the artists for the Gallery Walk from 5:30 to 8:00 pm on Saturday, November 3rd . For more Gallery information, phone (360) 379-8110 www.porttownsendgallery.com.