Derek Reynoso’s porcelain flowers are intricate and mesmerizing.
For a unique holiday gift that supports a local artist and adds joy and light to any room, look no further than Derek Reynoso’s stunning ceramic flowers.
A 2020 graduate of WVU’s undergraduate ceramics program, Reynoso was practicing both pottery and sculpture when his program’s 2018 semester in China made him aware of gender attitudes in the ceramics community. “Once when we were on a walking tour I asked this Chinese ceramicist if he made these groupings of flowers, and he seemed offended by the comment,” he recalls. Reynoso, who loved gardening with his mother as a kid and himself associates flowers with femininity, started exploring gender through the form of the flower in ceramics.
Reynoso starts his pieces by shaping porcelain clay. His favorite flowers to make are peonies and chrysanthemums. “Peonies have a place close to my heart. They’re the king of flowers in China, and they have a masculine sense to them, even though they’re feminine and beautiful,” he says. “Chrysanthemums are a pain to make, but they’re just exquisite.” After a low-temperature bisque firing, he applies the glaze. “Some are very colorful, some are monochromatic.” The high-temperature glaze firing completes their delicate appearance. Finished pieces can take from an hour to as much as six hours to create.
Reynoso mounts his flowers for hanging on the wall and also incorporates them into larger sculptural pieces. Even as a young artist, Reynoso has already had residencies in Montana and Pennsylvania and two solo exhibitions, including the show “Blooming” at the Mon Arts Center in Morgantown in 2020.
Craft markets and galleries are Reynoso’s favorite ways to exhibit and sell his work, because he enjoys the interactions. But with in-person opportunities limited this year, he’s built up an inventory of pieces ranging from $30 up. His Etsy shop is coming in January; for now, find him on Instagram at @drceramics—browse his photos, then message him there to ask about availability and prices.