Geoff Searle

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Geoff Searle attended the Kootenay School of Art in Nelson, British Columbia, with the original intention of painting and drawing. However, he became enthralled by the clay process and has been working as a potter since 1972, producing lines of stoneware and porcelain as well as an extensive range of raku and pit-fired pieces.

The lustrous satin finish, rich tones of nature and exquisite symmetrical precision of his pieces are standouts in the world of handcrafted artistry. Geoff achieves a full range of colorful hues in pit-fired burnished vases by fuming metallic salts and organic materials. His delicate handcrafted lids incorporate carved bamboo to reflect an exotic Oriental influence. Each finished piece is a one-of-a-kind object of art.

“It always amazes me that my pots find their way all over the world and into private homes and collections and that people can get such joy and stimulation from something that I have created with my hands,” says Geoff. He remains motivated by a sense of mystery about the medium of clay. “It is a great advantage to look forward to getting up and going to work every day at a job that I enjoy and to create fresh new shapes and designs.”

In addition to working at his Fraser Valley studio, Geoff is in demand as a workshop teacher on subjects of clay, glazes, kiln-building and pit-firing.

The Pit-Fired Process

Pots from the potter’s wheel are left to dry to a leather-hard stage. After trimming to a final shape, each piece is polished to a mirror-like finish using the back of a silver spoon. As the work dries, it is polished twice more, until the surface is satin smooth.

The pot is then fired to approximately 1700 degrees Fahrenheit reaching a “biscuit” stage. Once cooled the pot is wrapped in an assortment of organic materials and metallic salts, which are fumed during a second firing inside a saggar (a box made of fireclay) in a pit, dug into the ground.

All the pieces are fired in the same way, yet they all come out differently. Straw, copper, iron and pine needles add to the variety of patterns and colours in the work.
The combination of burnishing clay and firing in a ground pit is not a new idea. The method has been used for centuries. By adding organic materials and metals to the process, many unique, complex and exciting pieces are created.

10.5 X 7 X 4 in. - $475.00
Geoff Searle artwork 'Medium Tall vase with Top - GS#240' at White Rock Gallery
17 X 11 X 7 in. - $1,000.00
Geoff Searle artwork 'Tall Vase with double top - GS245' at White Rock Gallery
10 X 7.5 X 3.5 in. - $445.00
Geoff Searle artwork 'Small Thin Vase with top - GS254' at White Rock Gallery
14.5 X 8 X 8 in. - $900.00
Geoff Searle artwork 'Big Round Vase with horn top - GS247' at White Rock Gallery
11 X 8 X 4.5 in. - $485.00
Geoff Searle artwork 'Medium Round Vase with top - GS253' at White Rock Gallery
Geoff Searle artwork 'Small Round Vase with top - GS259' at White Rock Gallery
7 X 9 X 5.5 in. - $525.00
Geoff Searle artwork 'Small Spaceship Shaped Vase - GS256' at White Rock Gallery
Geoff Searle artwork 'Large Round Jar wide top - GS248' at White Rock Gallery
10.5 X 9 X 4 in. - $445.00
Geoff Searle artwork 'Vase - GS86' at White Rock Gallery
7 x 7 x 5 in.
Vase (218)
6.5 X 5 x 5 in.
Vase (243)
10.5 x 8 x 8 in.
Vase (252)
8 x 8 x 7 in.
Vase (255)
9 x 7 x 4
Vase (257)
During these past 33 years, White Rock Gallery has become one of the most durable art destinations in British Columbia and a well-regarded online venue across North America and beyond. We understand that original art cannot be pushy. It should leave our walls for yours only when it speaks to you personally and persuasively. Step one for the gallery is simply to assemble compelling pieces of art, by building strong relationships with our diverse array of professional artists. Step two is to provide a welcoming, unhurried environment in which the displays are always kept fresh and interesting. Running through all these years is the forging of respectful relationships with clients whom we’ve known in many cases for over two decades. And we’re always happy to speak with newcomers. A phone call is a great way to start if you aren’t able to drop by in person.
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