After graduating from high school, where he was focused on academics, and a brief unsuccessful attempt at a university education, Mark Rademacher chose to pursue a livelihood by working with his hands. He had his first lesson in wheel-throwing over 33 years ago. He has been involved in the ceramic process in some way ever since. He has also been a carpenter and woodworker for at least as many years. The two disciplines are excellent with and in contrast to each other.
Rademacher is currently a professional artist and craftsperson, and has been making his living as such for the past 18+ years. He and his wife are residents of Eureka Springs, and he has been able to participate in many local exhibitions. He has been a regular participant in the Zarks Gallery Annual Invitational Theme Show and is a member of the Eureka Springs Artist Registry. His work is on display in the Supreme Court building at the State Capitol, and his pottery has been presented to visiting foreign dignitaries as official gifts. He currently enjoys a commission with Walmart Pharmacy of the Bentonville headquarters to produce a series of awards called Respy Awards, for deserving Walmart pharmacists. His work is collected by Bill and Hillary Clinton. He was selected to produce the Governor’s Arts Awards for 2009.
What I currently produce is a small part of all that I have been involved with in my art and craft career. Fresh out of the university with an interest in percussive instruments, I hit the road with my collection of drums, both wood and ceramic. I started experimenting with the pit-fire process initially as another decorative finish for my ceramic drum forms. As I have a little bit of the “pyro” in me, the whole process was very intriguing, and I am still experimenting.
In my mind, my most significant accomplishment relative to the ceramic process is my mastery of a particular style of pit-fire or saw-dust fire. I also believe my decorating techniques are unique to the process. The interactions among leaf shapes, patterns, and textures; the subtle color shifts produced by the copper patina chemistry; and the heat and smoke of the pit-fire combine to produce the defining features of my pottery. These integral processes are wedded to my classical vases and bottles to create one-of-a-kind pieces. I continue to change and refine my approaches and techniques. The nature of the art process embraces change, and I am compelled by the process. I have most recently been exploring the combination of wood and clay in both pictorial-style framed tiles and as architectural elements in sculpture.