Brent Hale's ceramic pieces are each hand-designed and unique. He is greatly inspired by the flora and fauna of the southwest and ancient art relics from around the world. But his biggest inspirations come from his love of the innocent antics and play of children and animals.
Brent grew up in a large and loving Salt Lake City family. He has a quirky, wry sense of humor that shows up subtly in the faces and poses of many of his animal pieces.
Brent has developed an unusual technique with clay to ensure his finished pieces don’t lose their intended shape. He starts with making nearly every sculpture solid, drying them just enough to handle safely, and then cutting them into pieces with a wire, hollowing them out, reassembling, refinishing, and drying them completely to be chemically transformed into glass within a white-hot kiln. More than just the art of sculpting is needed during this process. Each bent, stressed, shaped, and attached piece of clay must be done with techniques that allow the finished piece to maintain its integrity. The clay's own weight and stresses in the clay can cause it to pull itself apart. So after having sculpted a piece properly, Brent is still less than half done.
To make sure each piece dries slowly and evenly, and to avoid any cracking, he will cover and uncover it multiple times for various periods over the next several days to weeks. If not done properly, the piece can fail in the final glaze high-firing and cooling, yet seem perfectly fine during the wet and dry clay stage (green ware). Little cracks and imperfections are usually fine and actually desirable because they prove the unique and handmade process and give personality to each piece. However, pieces with cracks that threaten the integrity and appearance are destroyed (or saved as object lessons for rebellious teens, which results are inconclusive, so grounding-for-life is far preferred).
Brent will often use stains instead of glazes to accentuate or give interest to important details such as fur, scales, and wrinkles on the skin - anywhere a glaze would cover and hide such details.
All pieces are food safe. Hand-wash only.