In my industrial design work I generally follow the concept of form follows function, but in my clay work it’s reversed, form comes before function even though much of my clay work is functional. That’s why I call my forms stories, I’m looking for new shapes and expressions when I reversed the tried and true. I like to embellish the form and let it speak to me, see how I feel about it, the function voice is in the distance. As a medium clay provides me that opportunity to search and have fun looking to solve these puzzles, I create vessels and teapots and sculpture that embody a visual tension that expresses my personal vision, which is often about struggle. The most important goal I set for myself is that my ceramic art work tells a story in feeling. I want to communicate that sense of feeling; whether it’s exuberance, peace or whatever and that people can see something there, whatever it is. Evoking an emotional response from the viewer means I’ve achieved success.
When I shape the clay it’s primarily about process and seeing, the finished pieces are wonderful to me and they must meet my goals, but they just sort of happen. Occasionally I draw first but I’d rather trust my hands and that part of my brain that shows me the way. The reason I experience it that way is because I create the shape of each piece as I’ve got the clay in my hands. I spend a great deal of time on each piece and it’s the process of making and understanding what I’m doing that is important to me. When I’m into the development of the piece I love getting the relationships just so; the surfaces complimenting the relationships, working out the details of how one form fits up against another, looking at what’s there and moving the forms so the negative spaces feel right. I’m basically dealing with lines, planes, volumes and negative space. While I’m doing this I access my early training with Rowena Reed Kostellow. Rowena was my first and best mentor, she was my teacher, my Chairperson at Pratt and my teaching colleague there as well. It was a joyous time in my life; a time of discovery and discipline; of unearthing a hidden talent. To this day when I have a tool and the clay in my hand I feel complete, I’m having a great time, it’s the best there is.
As an artist I’ve created the pieces that are shown on this website. As principal of my industrial design firm, Gordon Randall Perry Design, my designs and viewpoints have appeared in the books: American Design, Burridge Index, Gadgets, Marketing for the Small Design Firm, Mutant Materials in Contemporary Design, Power Packaging and Product Design 2, 4, 5 and 6, as well as in the publications Attenzione, Bon Appetit, Contract, Dentaltown, Digital Arts, Family Fun, Gourmet Today, HFD, ID, Interior Design, Interiors, Metropolitan Home, Modern Office Technology, Packaging Digest, PC Magazine, PC Week, PC World, Plastics Design Forum, R&D Magazine, Sports Merchandiser, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, Today’s Office, Tools and Wireless Week. I served as editorial consultant to Interiors magazine for an issue featuring office automation. I was a guest contributing designer on the television program ‘Invention hunters’ and as a design expert on the TV program ‘All American Makers’. I hold more than 40 patents. My industrial design work is in the permanent collection at MoMA.
I hold both a Master and a Bachelor of Industrial Design Degree from Pratt Institute and was given special recognition by my Chair for my Master’s thesis project. Subsequent to Pratt I studied with Paolo Soleri at the Soleri Architectural Workshop. I held the rank of full professor at Pratt, having taught design part-time for 14 years on the graduate and undergraduate levels. I also taught at Parsons for several years which is where I started creating ceramic pieces. My ceramic work has been in various exhibitions and galleries as well as widely shown in social media. I was born on the West coast but raised in Palisades Park, right outside of New York City, my current home. My studio is located in Greenwich Village at 121 West 3rd Street., New York, NY 10012. Visits can always be arranged in advance.