Gary & Daphne Hatcher


Gary & Daphne Hatcher

Gary C. Hatcher studied ceramics at The University of North Texas where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics and at Texas A&M at Commerce where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture. He apprenticed in ceramic art studios in Devon, England, with Michael Leach and David Leach from 1976 to 1979 as well as shorter apprenticeship experiences in France and Greece. He is currently Professor and Chair in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Tyler where he has taught since 1992.

After returning from England in 1979 he has maintained a studio in east Texas with his wife, Daphne Roehr Hatcher, also a ceramic artist, firing most works in a Bourry box wood fired kiln. He continues to balance teaching, administration and a very active involvement in the creation of ceramic works at his studio. 

On teaching at The University of Texas at Tyler Hatcher has said, “Teaching has become a part of my journey. After working undisturbed in my studio for twelve years I began teaching ceramics at The University of Texas at Tyler in 1992 and it has become the place where I share knowledge and experience I have gained in the last thirty years as a ceramic artist. I am dedicated to providing the best learning environment possible for students. I want to challenge students to think of art in a cross-cultural way. I want my students to see creative expression as integrated and not segmented by material or discipline. Although much of my training was as an apprentice in art studios in Europe, the university offers the most effective environment for learning the ways of art. It is a place where ideas are exchanged and the process of creative exploration is pasted on to a new generation of those in pursuit of knowledge and understanding of our world through art.”

He has had articles published in Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Technical, Ceramics Monthly, The Studio Potter and American Craft. His works have been included in over a dozen books in print. He exhibits widely both nationally and internationally and has participated in over 300 exhibitions. Major exhibitions of his ceramic works have been held in venues such as Baylor University, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts, Austin College, Tyler Museum of Art and Irving Arts Center. His works are in numerous private and museum collections. Hatcher has curated a number of exhibitions of ceramic works for The University of Texas at Tyler and the Tyler Museum of Art. His work is represented in Texas by the Goldesberry Gallery in Houston.

Statement: My ceramic work is glazed and wood fired. I am interested in the subtle accumulation of light wood ash on glazed and unglazed surfaces and the accentuation of pure form. Color in my work is enhanced by wood firing, not dominated by wood ash deposits. Clay provides a perceptual and tactile journey with natural materials as well as a conceptual and philosophical challenge of the mind. That philosophical challenge continually requires balance of mind, hand and eye and is compelling without end. Making clay vessels is my philosophical journey, always compelling, endless in variation and mystery.

Daphne Roehr Hatcher has been a full-time studio potter for the past thirty years, sharing her studio with husband Gary Hatcher after three years of apprenticeship training in Europe and Great Britain. She received a BFA degree in art from the University of North Texas School of Visual Arts and has received many awards for her work in the ceramic field.

Daphne Hatcher exhibits widely in invitational and juried exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. She has work on permanent display in the American Airlines Corporate Collection, Ceramics Monthly Collection, The San Angelo Museum of Fine Art and many others. Images of her work have appeared in numerous books and periodicals.

Statement: Control, surrender, the integration of surface and form: these are considerations I have focused on for the last thirty years as a potter. I have fired pots with glazed surfaces in various kilns, often with complex layers and patterns, but wood firing provides the balance between control and surrender I seek. I pay careful attention to the skin of the pot and use judicial application of glaze to enhance whatever the flame grants me. 

The platters I am creating now represent my interest in a painterly approach to glaze application, using the platter’s large flat surface as a canvas and allowing the flame to gently alter the glaze. My bark-textured work focuses more on form and surface texture.

I also savor the balance between control and surrender in the construction of my pots. Some days are spent peacefully turning out simple, familiar forms and other days are focused on the delicate assembly of complex textured teapots, bowls and bottles. The rhythm of making pots and firing them in our wood kiln suits my temperament and presents a continual challenge to my abilities. Where to exert control and when to surrender to the flow? This is the primary question.

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Or contact us: Gary & Daphne Hatcher / Pine Mills Pottery, 5155 FM 49, Mineola, TX 75773 / 903.857.2271