Phil Garaas

Phil Garaas has lived in the Lake Norman area since moving from the San Diego, CA in 1988. He lives in Mooresville with his wife Alice and two children.

He graduated from the University of Colorado and his first career involved automating industrial processes. In 2000, he left corporate America to pursue a more creative work life. Phil was first inspired in working with clay by a high school art teacher who was a ceramic artist in Southern California. More recently, Phil completed several ceramics courses at the IceHouse Center for Craft and Design in Davidson, NC. These studies continued under the guidance of Jill and Tomoo Kitamura at their teaching studio. In 2005, Phil built a wood fired Raku kiln.

Phil mixes all of the clay and glazes used in his work from dry ceramic materials using recipes that he has refined through repeated testing. Most of Phil’s current pieces are wheel throw forms. After bisque firing in an electric kiln, they undergo a second firing in the wood fired kiln using Raku glazes that result in the distinctive elemental copper look seen on much of his work.