Will Ruggles
Birth Date: 1956

Artist Gallery
Douglass Rankin and Will Ruggles: “We surround ourselves with things we find beautiful. We can’t help it! Interacting daily with these objects, we develop and grow. The good art remains compelling as our lives unfold…its essence full and complete, yet mysterious and provocative. Nourished, we become a part of art, and it a part of us”. Douglass Rankin and Will Ruggles studied pottery at different colleges, but both eventually came to work with Randy Johnston at his studio in Wisconsin; Douglass in 1976 and Will in 1977. After completing their apprenticeships, they set up a pottery in rural Wisconsin in 1978. A few years later they moved to western North Carolina and established Rock Creek Pottery and built their wood fire kiln into the side of a mountain. They still use the kiln today. Their philosophy for their work is derived from Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach, Warren McKenzie and from their own years of practice. Their work can be immediately recognized by it’s combinations of color, form and decoration, all of which speak very softly of their origins, but never fail to be clearly theirs. The best pieces that emerge from a firing are visually powerful regardless of the size. Pieces often refer to a function but the work’s success derives as well, from an elegant sculptural integrity. Pitchers and teapots pour but they have a great proportional shape and the handles animate the form, yet their work is also a pleasure to hold and use. The splashes of the black and green highly gestural brushwork that forms leaves, letters, fish, and abstract patterns that contrast with also enhance the shape of the piece. The strong black horizontal stripes on a vase, a teapot or the lid of a covered jar all act as punctuation marks that contain the energy and optimism found in their work. All of these devices merge to render service to the intense elegance that is characteristic of their work.