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Yvonne Gerych

What clay body do you use?

"I’ve worked with all types of clay bodies and so I think for sculpture I like paper clay which I used to make by adding paper mulch to any clay body and lately I would buy it from Laguna Clay. I also like to work with raku clay and for smaller pieces I like to experiment with porcelain."

Primary forming method?

"My main forming method is working with slabs or coils, I also use self made forms."

Primary firing temperature?

"Primary firing temperature is cone 5-6 because I have an electric kiln. If I could, I’d love to fire in cone 9. I also immensely enjoyed wood firing and salt firing sessions with Jeff Forster some time back in the past."

Favorite surface treatment?

"As much as I love glazes , I use them sparingly in sculpture. Instead I use oxides, mason stains, underglazes.  I carve into my pieces or use laces and various objects for surface decoration.

I’ve been also using nail polish, lacquers, wood stains, acrylic or anything I find handy to express the emotion I want the piece to carry."

Favorite Tools?

"I have a nice collection of tools = toys. Most of the time I use wooden knives, wire-end modeling tools, toothpicks or nail manicure tools."

Describe your studio environment.

"My studio is a part of my garage and its surrounding area."

How/Where do you market and sell your artwork?

"I’m grateful to Clay Houston’s annual Clay Crawl event where I sell most of my work."

What sparks your creativity? What drives you to work with clay?

"Human condition, our joys, fears and hopes, all that is human is my inspiration…but anything in nature counts too, as well as religious art and architecture. I grew up in one of the most beautiful historical cities and Prague’s churches and buildings provide a handful of inspiration."              

Did you come to ceramics from a different career? Tell us about your journey to a ceramics career.

      "I wasn’t familiar with clay or ceramics till I ventured to the Ceramics department at Glassell school many years ago when I was taking figurative painting classes and it inspired my imagination."

      How have you have taken your experience as a well-established maker in the field and passed that knowledge along to your other artists?

      "Clay artist community is well known for its openness in sharing knowledge and when I was in Glassell school as well as now I am always ready to share my experience. "

        What’s the best advice you’ve been given by a fellow maker, mentor, or teacher?

          That clay teaches you how to let go and how not to be attached to a piece. That all kinds of situations may happen and that’s a part of the process. And as far as I’m concerned, the process is what counts"


          Yvonne Gerych lives in Houston, Texas, and is a practicing ceramist and figurative sculptor. 

          Born in Prague, then Czechoslovakia, she spent a large part of her life in different countries. She received her M.A. in languages from the University of Warsaw, Poland. She emigrated with her husband and children to the U.S. in 1986.

          Intrigued by the mortality of the flesh and the immortality of the spirit, by the enigmas of human existence and everlasting nature, Gerych attempts to explores existential themes. Her preoccupation with existentialism undoubtedly stems from her experiences while living under a communist dictatorship. 

          The ornate Baroque style of Prague churches and visual stimuli gathered during years spent in different countries are reflected/mirrored/shine through  in her work. Striving to mediate accessibility to her innermost thoughts, Gerych ultimately views her ceramic sculptures as a gateway to the artist’s idiosyncratic emotions and the unfathomable ways of the creative process.

          Yvonne’s work has been exhibited at the University of Houston Clear Lake, The Art League of Houston, Lawndale Art Center’s The Big Show, Visual Arts Alliance of Houston, Dishman Art Museum Beaumont, Mother Dog Studios,  M2 Gallery and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, to name a few.


            PO Box 667401
            Houston, TX 77266

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