INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST: MIKE FULLER


Mike Fuller will join is wife Maggie as well as Susan Sheets and Karla Mock as our four featured artists in our opening reception "The Fabulous Four" at Second Saturday Soiree on October 10.  We wanted to know more about Mike so we asked the following questions.  Enjoy his answers!
Question: Tell us a bit about yourself--where you grew up, things you like to do, interesting tidbits>
I grew up in an Air Force family and primarily lived in San Antonio and Colorado Springs. Other interests include classic motorcycles and automobiles, other mechanical pursuits, and various sciences.
Question:  Did you start art as a kid?  When did you start to work in clay?
I've always been interested in art. I first experienced ceramics in high school and was immediately enamored. I’ve continued to explore ceramics throughout my adult life. I became interested in jewelry and lapidary soon after high school. While serving in the US Army I was trained as an occupational therapy assistant and learned, and ultimately taught, various craft techniques to patients in the hospital. After my military service, I continued to take art courses while in college and medical school. 

Question: How did you come to choose your medium?
I’ve always been drawn to working in clay. I enjoy three-dimensional art and the plasticity of clay.
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Question:  Tell us a bit about your process.
Most of the ceramic sculptures that I do are assembled of hand-built and wheel-thrown components. I primarily use a firing method known as raku to finish the pieces. This method is quite interactive and results in earthy colors that complement the organic nature of my work.




Question:  Who was your most influential mentor?  Why?  How?
My two most important mentors were the ceramics instructor at Galveston College, Martha Denman, and Paul Soldner, arguably the creator of American Raku ceramics. 
Question:  Who is your favorite artist?
I enjoy a wide variety of art. It would be difficult to identify a favorite. Certainly, the sculptures of Bernini sit at the top of the shortlist of favorites. 
Question:  Where do you get your inspiration?
The bulk of my ceramic work portrays the growth and development of life forms throughout their growth period or life. My work as a psychiatrist over the last four decades has reenforced this fascination and has greatly affected my ceramic interests and art. 

Question:  Is there any other information that you think people might like to know about you?
My wife and I have always loved Central Texas and recently moved to the La Grange area after forty years on Galveston Island where I practiced and taught at the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch. I’ve three children who live in the Austin and Houston areas.