Chris Gum

Chris Gum

Chris-Gum-potteryChris was an OPA member for 23 years. He was on the board of both OPA and Showcase and was often the voice of reason (sometimes to all of our chagrin) amidst chaos. Chris died in his home of unknown natural causes on June 29th. A Memorial Potluck was held at the home of Linda Owen and Craig Martell on July 18th.

Chris made beautiful pots, and for many years he dug his clay from local stream banks and collected local feldspars and other materials for his glazes. His work was very careful and methodical. Efficiency was never a concern for him, he would rather be true to his work and its process. Chris’s work was well known by potters and art appreciators alike, although Chris never wanted to be a famous person. Chris chose to move through this world quietly and modestly, doing his share of the work without demanding too much of the spotlight.

Chris had a passion for gardening. He probably felt that laundry sorting and truck washing were overrated, but he always took exquisite care of his plants. He was a good listener and never hesitated to express his opinions.

In recent years, Chris avoided attending OPA Meetings (why deal with petty bureaucracy?), but he almost always came to Portland to visit his friends (the most important part of this group) on the days we held our meetings and thus we could all spend time with him. He was a wonderful friend and his sudden death affected the entire pottery community in Oregon.