David Kricorian, Divinely Inspired Potter

 In Writings

David Kricorian has been creating fine art pottery for more than 25 years. Very soon after he began attending Saddleback Church, David met noted abstract painter Jerome Gastaldi and became good friends with Pastor Jim Dobbs, the Creative Director for the church. Since that time, he’s been a committed member of Saddleback Visual Arts.

I met David Kricorian in the summer of 2014 when he taught a 4-week pottery workshop at the SVA studio. David opened the workshop by sharing testimony on his spiritual life in Christ, and then he showed the students how to shape clay into small pillars. In the second class, David shared how he integrates his art with his Christian faith and guided the students in decorating their pillars with colorful ceramic glazes. The third night of the workshop involved raku firing of the clay pillars in flaming kilns that David had set up outdoors – what an exciting and visually beautiful experience! On the fourth and final night, David’s friend Pastor Mark Mueller gave a talk about integrating art and faith and the students shared what they had learned.

Pillars in Kiln

Students’ Creations in the Fiery Kiln

During studio time over the next several months, I got to know David better and found him to be a man of great depth, wisdom, and commitment to his faith, his family, and his art. Last week, David sat down with me to share his unique story – but to be perfectly factual, he shaped pot after pot while we talked! David first became interested in ceramics through a high school arts exploration class.  In college, David studied under the renowned ceramic artist, Crispin Gonzales.  Following college, David lived in Greece and taught ceramics part-time while he made and sold a number of fine art pieces.

In the 1980s, David developed a love for the traditional Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic: wabi connotes rustic simplicity, quietude, or understated elegance, while sabi is the beauty or serenity that comes with age. David feels so passionate about wabi-sabi that every 2-3 years, he travels to Japan to study famous porcelain artists such as Manji Inoue (renowned as a living national treasure). Two other much-beloved Japanese artists whose work inspires David are Shoji Hamada and Suzuki Goro.

David married his wife, Ginger, in 1990 and they had two beautiful daughters named Catherine (age 18) and Rachael (age 14). For many years, David and Ginger both worked in the business world but eventually they decided that David would be a stay-at-home Dad and work on his pottery while Ginger continues her highly successful career in business management.

For some time, David pursued ceramics as a hobby even though he really wanted to become a professional artist. Fear of criticism and rejection held him back, until an old friend challenged him to enter a ceramic art competition at the Orange County Fair. The first time David entered, he won an honorable mention; the second time, he won a professional class blue ribbon. David went on to win several more prizes over the past 8 years and he feels confident that he’s achieved a high level of aesthetic quality in his work. Now he feels ready to start offering his pottery for sale. In 2015, he plans to connect with several art galleries that have an interest in showing his work to the public.

Dave in Studio_1

David Kricorian Creating Pottery at the SVA Studio

David loves to directly merge his art with his faith and he plans to begin incorporating allegorical imagery from Biblical parables into his pottery. For example, he’s thinking about making Japanese tea bowls decorated with painted images of a fish and snake or an egg and scorpion, based on Luke 11:11-13.

David is dedicated to making beautiful art that helps shine Christ’s light upon the people of the world. He believes that the creation of compelling visual imagery will inspire many to take a closer walk with God. David would love to see more and more artists filling churches with glorious art pieces that bring honor to God’s kingdom.

Exciting as these new directions are, David hasn’t lost sight of his original priorities: to humbly serve God to the best of his ability and model the face of Jesus Christ to his family and friends. Twenty years ago, David started a personal tradition of offering his pottery as gifts to people who have shown great love and kindness toward his family. Today he feels deeply blessed when he visits the home of someone who received such a gift years ago and finds that his work is still proudly displayed. SVA is likewise blessed to have David Kricorian as a sustaining member, teacher, and visionary guide.

Written by Sandhya Larsen Writer | Editor | Artist Instagram@sunsetartique [email protected] https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandhyalarsen
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