By STEPHANIE THOMSON
The Columbian, 1996
Since receiving his degree from Clark College in 1972, Dave Deal has had
only one job that didn't involve a pottery wheel. For eight days, he worked
as a logging choke-setter. He has stuck to ceramics since then. Along with
his wife, Boni - who does most of the drawing and surface design of the
vessels - and their children, Dave has made his living out of clay.
Their home in the WA state Cascade Range, set over a half-mile away from the road and surrounded by tall fir trees, allows them to do their work in peaceful surroundings. Or, as quiet as it can be with three children - Sarah, 15, and Michael, 12, living at home, and Gabriel, 21, at college . The Deals live without electricity. Propane lamps in their shop, which is a separate building from their home, enable them to work in the evening.
Raku pottery, which originated in 16th century Japan, involves taking the pots from the kiln and setting them into a container of grasses and leaves. This exposure to the smoke and flame gives raku its crackled glazes, smoky tones and metallic accents. The woodsy surroundings are ideal for the Northwest images the Deals incorporate into their pottery designs.
Their work is on display at The Real Mother Goose in Portland, Oregon and the Deals receive orders through this shop. The Deals' work currently sells for as little as $50 for a pot to as much as $2,500 for a series of large wall tiles. They also sell through The White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon; EarthenWorks gallery in Port Townsend, WA; Sunbird Gallery in Bend, OR; Northwest Craft Center at the Seattle Center, Seattle,WA; and other galleries. The Deal's have have been in many group and solo exhibitions, primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Nationwide, their work has been shown in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Baltimore, and New York City.