Harald Eric Nordvold
Born in San Francisco, the son of immigrants from Norway and South Africa, Harald Eric Nordvold cherishes memories of watching his father build furniture, houses, cabinetry and even skis from wood. His mother was a dressmaker and owned a shop in San Francisco. The family moved to Sonoma County when Nordvold was a teenager. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College, and went on to earn a BA in art at Sonoma State College (1972), focusing on researching and experimenting with clays and glaze formulas. He has taught classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and Mendocino Art Center, and his work is in many private collections. He cites potters Warren MacKenzie, Bernard and David Leach and Shoji Hamada as influences. Nordvold creates stoneware and porcelain pottery and decorative pieces, and also Raku fired vessels.
He appreciates the intimacy of everyday use of functional pottery, and strives to create quality pieces with a high standard of craftsmanship, while still expressing the warmth and vitality of one of man’s oldest art forms.
Nordvold believes one of the most beautiful functions of pottery is to display flowers, and that has inspired him to make vases of many different shapes, sizes and colors, including his trademark “pinholders,” which are made to hold just one or a few stems. He added, “I find the intimacy of functional pottery meaningful- the cup or mug that touches one’s lips, or the bowl that one holds to drink tea or for eating their morning cereal or evening dessert. Such things must feel right as well as be appealing to look at. All of the pieces in this show, with the exception of the raku work, are high fired to 2400 degrees F, which creates a vitrified piece that is sturdy and completely safe for food, microwave and dishwasher uses.”
Nordvold’s passion for beautiful glazes has fueled his dedication to pottery for over 40 years. “While I strive for simple and elegant forms, it is the glaze that can make a piece rise above the ordinary. In this exhibit I am showing the chun blue and copper red glazes that have been the most popular and collected over the 40 plus years I have worked as a potter, as well as the more subtle wood ash glazes in which I try to capture the feel of oceanic currents and the organic nature of the natural environment.” Different clays are used to achieve varied results in color and surface texture. He’s introducing new contemporary squared vases and vessels, and some new textures in his work.
A native of upstate New York, CC Case always considered art a central force in her life. She graduated from Elmira College in New York State, and went on to work in the field of graphic design in northern New Jersey for several years. She lived for a year in the British Virgin Islands, doing volunteer work, calligraphy and illustration, and after that determined she would find a way to live by the ocean permanently. On the way to the west coast, she lived and worked for 27 years in western Colorado, providing care and training for persons with disabilities and then obtaining an MA in Early Childhood Special Education to become a teacher and consultant in Grand Junction, Colorado public schools. Case occasionally took classes and workshops to keep her interest in art alive, and after retiring from teaching moved to Paradise and then Gualala, California, and finally had time to experiment and explore different art forms.
Case is primarily a figure artist, drawing in charcoal and pastel, and also experiments with watercolor and other painting media. Drawing the human figure has been an interest since childhood. Life drawing presents the challenge of rendering a form believably while also conveying some sense of the life or spirit within. Participation in the weekly life drawing sessions at Gualala Arts provides opportunity to develop these skills.
Figure drawing is the form of art that currently absorbs and inspires Case the most, and this exhibit features drawings in charcoal, sometimes with the addition of pastel, all drawn from live models during the weekly life drawing sessions at Gualala Arts. Says Case, “the human body is fascinating in its infinite variety—the unclothed figure presents complexities and challenges in depicting proportion, movement, texture, and the interplay of light and shadow in a believable way. I strive to convey sensitivity, and some sense of mood, or spirit of a model at a specific moment in time. I appreciate the mental and physical exercise that drawing from life requires.” She’s experimented with watercolor a bit over the past few years and continues to explore that medium, in both abstract and realistic styles, inspired by the sea and local landscape.
Case and Nordvold met at Art In The Redwoods at Gualala Arts in 2011. They married two years later and this is their second joint exhibit at the Dolphin.