Ray Grimm

Ray Grimm

Ray Grimm

RAY GRIMM, 1924-2012: Ray Grimm passed away peacefully on January 22nd surrounded by his large and loving family. He taught ceramics at Portland State University for 35 years, and for many members of OPA, he was their first ceramics teacher. His influence will be felt in our community for generations to come. He was “a leader in the vanguard of artists who transformed Portland to a center of ceramics and glass arts… Considered eccentric when he began commuting by bicycle in the early ’60s, he not only heralded the city’s pas- sion, but until the age of 81, cycled a minimum of 50 miles weekly… He built and established the first hot glass studio in Oregon. He joined fellow ceramicists, building an ancient Gilgama kiln in the Sheridan hills [at George Wright’s]. He invented pottery techniques and glazes… His graduate degree work studying with Carlton Ball at Southern Illinois University provided Grimm the foundation for his technical skill in ceramics. His interests, design and fab- ricating talents extended to sewing up bike gear and tents, a solar-powered country home, exquisite jewelry, hats, chic urban chicken houses and one of his favorite achievements, the gracefully whimsical weather machine in Pio- neer Square… He served on the USS St. Lo during World War II and survived a kamikaze attack and sinking of his ship in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1943… he met Jere [at Washington University School of Fine Arts in 1949], also a native of St. Louis and a sculptor. The two fell in love as they collaborated on projects. Their mutual admiration and exploration of concepts and techniques became their signature, resulting in a vast collaborative body of work-and a marriage–spanning 58 years.