Chase Gamblin

Artist Statement

Like the complexities of a persona, my vessels have many layers in their construction. Repetitive shapes, applied slips, and numerous surface applications reference the subtle intricacies of personality. My pots are composed using multiple thrown components, which are assembled to create totemic forms. These vessels are composed with proportion and heavy slip application in mind. The slip gives a sense of subtle movement and whimsy to the work, softening the hard edges. While working I am constantly considering form, volume, contour, texture, and space. I intend the viewer to see each piece as a personified individual.

Over the years I have utilized atmospheric firing processes. I enjoy how my work changes each wood or soda firing. Ash naturally melts along the surfaces and soda flashes to enrich the soft nature of the slip. These surfaces add depth and sense of age to the vessels. My most recent iteration of work focuses on light and form. Utilizing a minimal color pallet of whites or blacks, I add accents of gold to frame areas importance. Light plays a significant role on the surface of my vessels; it provides a contrast between the glazed or lustered areas and the matte areas.

The act of making motivates my studio practice. It pushes me to evolve and develop my forms, which in turn, results in personal growth. At a young age, I learned to value working and creating with my hands. Whether it is playing music, wrenching in the garage, or building in the studio, I find nourishment. As I work on a new piece, I ask myself “Why?” Because I have yet to culminate this inquiry, I continue to make and find myself in a seemingly never-ending cycle of making and questioning.

-- Chase Gamblin


Chase Gamblin was born in Paducah, Kentucky and raised in the small town Metropolis Illinois. After High School, Gamblin went on to Tennessee Technological University’s Appalachian Center For Crafts where he studied under Vince Pitelka for his Bachelor of Fine Arts. As an undergraduate he was able to explore many different types of clays, glaze applications, firing techniques, and ceramic history, which lead him to his passion of wood firing. As an undergrad he was also a studio technician, assistant to the artists in residents as well as visiting artists, involved in the Outreach program, and joined Peter Rose’s wood Firing team in Knoxville until he graduated.

Chase then went on to get his Master of Fine Arts degree from Texas Tech University where he explored the concept of the vessel. While there, he has been involved with the setting up and running of two ceramic Symposium’s, was the instructor of record for design and ceramics, and learned to build and manage equipment of a ceramic studio. During his graduate school experiences, Gamblin spent two summers abroad involved in international residencies. The first was in Vicchio, Italy learning small-scale wax casting, mold making, and large sculpture. The second was in the Sanbao international Ceramics institute in Sanbao, China learning the culture and history of Chinese porcelain as well as having his first international solo exhibition.

After Gamblin graduated from Texas Tech University in 2010 he went on to the University of North Dakota as the first artist in residence in the Ceramics department. While there he taught ceramics courses, rebuilt and repaired kilns, assisted visiting artists, and furthered his exploration of the wood firing processes and vessel making. After finished his yearlong residency he moved to Lebanon Tennessee where he taught 3-D and 2_D Design, all levels of ceramics, and the Future Directions in Art, all the while building the ceramics program for Cumberland University. The summer of 2012 he was invited back to China to make artwork and set up another solo exhibition. In 2013 he moved to Bloomington Indiana where he began teaching at the Bloomington Clay Studio and help start the residency program while there.

In 2015 he was hired as a fulltime faculty member at Indiana University in Bloomington as an Academic Specialist/ Ceramics Studio Coordinator. He teaches all levels of ceramics from intro to graduate seminar, as well as kiln building and atmospheric firing. He most recently was involved with the design and move into a brand-new facility.