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Gillian Parke

Biography to Display: 

1971 Born Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK 



1993 BA American Chemical Society Accredited, Chemistry, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 

2004 Completed one year of graduate studies for MFA-ceramics, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina  



2004 --- Lab Manager/Research Analyst II, Durham VAMC/Duke University  

2010 Emerging Artists Grant Panelist in Craft, Pitts County Arts Councils, North Carolina 

2010, 2017 Emerging Artists Grant Panelist in Craft, Durham County Arts Councils, North Carolina                                          

2011-2014 Instructor, Claymakers, Durham, North Carolina                                                      

2013--- “Steinfest” Invitational Curator, Claymakers, Durham, North Carolina  



Gillian Parke is known for functional pieces that are thrown and assembled using porcelain that has been enriched with Feldspar inclusions and Molochite. The surface techniques used include wax resist, sgraffito, lusters, glazes, and decals that are either custom-made or purchased from open stock. The use of multiple materials and techniques results in pieces with surfaces that contrast with the traditional smooth porcelain surfaces.  

Parke says, “Through the application of underglazes, overglazes, and decals, the textures are further enriched to give a more visceral surface not often associated with porcelain.” Multiple firingsin either gas or electric kilns are needed to produce the finished piece.  

I am interested in the conflict created by kitsch images on handmade objects, and in challenging the aesthetics and values presented when using such materials unconventionally. The resulting works illustrate the contrasts in aesthetics, forms, traditions, and function found between Japanese pottery and European fine porcelain. Through the application of underglazes, overglazes and decals, the textures are further enriched to give a more visceral surface not often associated with porcelain. “ 

Parke has been influenced by the work of Brad Tucker, Mark Chamberlain, Malcolm Davis, Sid Oakley, and Michael Simon. 

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Mint Museum, Charlotte North Carolina 

Rebecca Sives Collection 

San Angelo Museum of Art, San Angelo, Texas 


Bibliography to Display: 

Hall, Sherman (Ed.). “Focus: Emerging Artists” Ceramics Monthly 56 no. 5 (May 2009).  

Parke, Gillian. “Texture From Within: Mixing Coarse Materials into Smooth Clay.” Pottery Making Illustrated, April 26, 2013. 

__________Contrasting Aesthetics and Textures. Pottery Making Illustrated, August 14, 2018. 

Standen, Kathleen. Additions to Clay Bodies. London, United Kingdom; A&C Black, 2013. 

Tourtilott, Suzanne, (Ed). 500 Pitchers, Contemporary Expressions of a Classic Form. New York, NY: Lark Books, 2006. 

Vaughan, Dawn Baumgartner. The Art of the Beer Stein. The Durham Herald Sun,  

October 4, 2013. 

Watts, Kathy Norcross. “The Contrasts of Gillian Parke,” Ceramics Monthly 57, no 2 (February 2009). 



Artist's Studio: Guillian Parke


Typical Marks

Lower case g and p together: the tail of the letters curves to the left, next to a square, all black, incised.  

Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze, Incised, Transfer or Decal Decorated

Citation: Clark, Donald. "The Marks Project." Last modified May 2, 2024.