Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mark Terry | 21st Century Alchemist

Oh, Mark. Where do I begin? I met Mark Terry on the George Fox University campus in October of 2001. My family and I had traveled to the Northwest (from the Midwest) for a weekend of house shopping and school shopping. The moment Mark dropped everything to show us around George Fox (for the next two hours!), I knew there was something special there for me.

Mark invested countless hours of quality time in me and so many of my fellow students and friends through seminars, art history and ceramics classes, advisory sessions and department meetings. Futhermore, he fluxed without hesitation from the 'Professor of Art' role that he holds at George Fox to spontaneous mentorship over a cup of coffee, lunch or tea time at his home. He has taught all of us about more than art and firing techniques. He has taught us about life, conviction, balance and loving who created you and what you have been called to create.

Fast-forward through those past 7+ years and here I am, working with Mark to produce his MFA Thesis Show at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. I was so honored to have Mark even think to approach me to help him develop a coherent graphic direction. And it's still in the works! But here's a quick preview....

Photos courtesy of Mark Terry.

The show is called Alchemy | Born of Fire.
You can read more about it on Mark's blog.

As I've researched the meaning and history of Alchemy, the descriptor Mark and I have attributed to him, "21st Century Alchemist" has rang true. He takes what is plain and ordinary and transforms it into something that is beautiful and valuable and breathtaking.

The process Mark uses to fire much of his work is called Anagama. It is an ancient wood-firing method that takes more than a thermometer and a power switch. Anagama requires passion, intuition, determination and patience. All of which are an innate part of Mark's heart.

There's been a fabulous video compiled by the school on this process + Mark.


  1. I remember that day well. Day started with feelings of uncomfortable uncertainty and ended with new direction and hope. Mark IS the reason you went to GFU after looking at other options. So glad you still have opportunity to work together even after graduation. Life is better because of people such as this.

  2. Mark is the reason I choose GFU as well! I'm so glad you have been able to help him -- everything looked awesome and Mark truely is a wonderful man and teacher!