Tony Furtado
Tony Furtado Sculpture
Portland, Oregon



Artist Statement
I'm inspired by the natural world and finding expressive and engaging ways to portray what I see and feel. Whether an accurate biological rendering or a stylized, surreal statement, I try to strike a balance between fierceness and fragility.

Studio Description
It's one of 26 music and art studios in the basement of the Falcon Building in Portland, Oregon. It's got a high ceiling and is maybe the size of a large living room. I have a couple of small, electric Skutt kilns.

What type of clay do you use?
Mostly a mid-fire, sculpture-friendly clay called Timberline Sculptural (Georgies brand).

What temperature do you fire to?
Cone 6

What is your primary forming method?

What is your favorite surface treatment?
Cured metal coating (Forton/metal dust), oxidized, cold patina

Do you make any of your own tools?
Rarely, but sometimes

What one word would you use to describe your work?

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
High ceiling

What is the one thing in your studio you can’t live without?
My kiln

What are your top three studio wishes?
More space, gas kiln, more natural light

What’s on your current reading list?
The Sea – John Banville

How do you save money on materials and supplies?
Recycle clay, buy in bulk, use reclaimed wood, etc, whenever possible.

How do you recharge creatively?
I'm a touring/recording musician, so I do my best to strike a balance between music and art.

What challenges have you given yourself to overcome?
Most everything! When I was 20, I quit college (fine arts) to tour with bands. 18 years later, I came back to it (art) and had to learn everything on my own.

What did your first piece look like?
It was a strange face Mr. Frankina (6th grade ceramics teacher) had me create. For me, he instilled lots of humor and respect for the creation of art.

What ceramic superpower would you have and why?
Glaze creation. I have never had the patience to come up with just the right glazes. I'm so much more interested in form.

Who is your ceramic art mentor and why?
Robert Arneson. An early ceramics hero. His work was strange, alive, audacious, and full of life/humor.

What is on your studio playlist?
Indie folk, classical FM, KCRW.

Why do you create art?
I have to and I love it! If I don't make things, I think my hands would leave me, and my brain would implode.

What is your best studio tip?
Be adventurous, and don't be afraid to break things.

If you could change one property of clay, what would it be?
To resist gravity when I choose.

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