David Shaner (1934-2002) is an icon in the field of American ceramic art. He was instrumental in establishing the Archie Bray Foundation as a major player in ceramics, and he continued to support the Bray after retiring as its Resident Director. His exquisitely formed vessels with their understated glazes are a reflection of the man himself, a man in harmony with his environment and at peace in himself. Shaner was also noted as a teacher, a collector, and a generous contributor to the world of ceramic art and the field of environmental protection; his gardens which he called his “spiritual work” included notable specialized collections. While David Shaner’s life was cut short by ALS, his legacy continues through the David and Ann Shaner Resident Studio Complex which opened in 2005 at the Archie Bray foundation.
“Basically, I am doing what I want to do and have never done anything else. By competing only with myself, I am not in pursuit of the crowd. Following one’s work is a joy and a challenge. One learns to do what is in one’s soul – thus revealing the connections between life and art. Although over the years I have become deeply involved with my tools and materials, simplicity of form and process have been my greatest achievements. And while the pots have been saturated with optimism, this has not always been easy to achieve. It is with a certain resilience I carry the belief that as life is enriched, the work can answer a resounding YES!”