Everybody knows me as Zach. In 1950, I was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, the son of a railroad civil engineer father and a secretary/housewife mother. After high school, I left home for sights unseen and ended up at Clemson University majoring in Pre-Veterinary Medicine. The year was 1968, the height of the Vietnam War and the first ever draft lottery. In 1969, at the School of Architecture at Clemson, I took my first art classes and enjoyed them. In the Spring of 1970, I changed my major to Studio Art, transferred to the University of South Carolina and never looked back.
At Carolina, I finished a BFA in December, 1972 and thought I was ready to make a mark in the art world. That didn’t happen so I applied to graduate school at Carolina in 1974 and completed an MFA in 1979. My first job after that accomplishment was tying steel with a swimming pool construction company in Columbia, SC, the hottest place on the planet during Summer. From then until 1991, I held blue-collar jobs in construction, renovation, furniture making, cabinetry, pipe fitting, ditch digging and numerous related activities. From time to time, I held a part-time teaching position at USC-Columbia, USC-Aiken and at Converse College. At no time during those lean years did I stop making art. If I couldn’t make ceramic art, I sculpted or painted but I always produced. In 1991, I started a full-time teaching position at Converse and have received three different awards for teaching excellence, having consistently taught all levels of Ceramics and Three Dimensional Design, numerous years of Art for the Child and served as Director of Milliken Gallery for three years.
While maintaining art production, exhibiting and teaching, I participated in professional level workshops led by Robert Turner, William Daley, Don Reitz and Ron Meyers and conducted workshops at the Ghost Ranch in Abiquii, NM, Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, the University of South Carolina in Columbia and at the Arts Center in Spartanburg, SC
Since 1972, I have had 23 one-person exhibitions, been in over 100 group exhibitions and over 70 juried exhibitions. Juried exhibitions have been local, state, regional, national and international in nature. My work is currently carried in two galleries in South Carolina and one in North Carolina.
In 1998, I married Eun-Sun Lee. Our son, Emmett was born on December 28, 2000.
The ceramic art that I have produced in recent years is mostly functional with sculptural interests. Work usually begins with numerous sketches that combine a number of forms. When an arrangement of forms looks promising enough for the production of a body of work, working with clay begins. This is when the discovery and fun take place. Systematically, I change the proportions of pieces that are loosely based on the sketches and document this in my sketchbook and often s number incised into the bottoms of the pieces for identification. When working this way, my hopes are to eventually arrive at what I consider to be the ideal proportions of particular combinations of forms. The finished pieces have the potential for function yet stand on their own as aesthetic objects.
David "Zach" Zacharias
Studio: 1225 Hogback Mountain Road, Tryon, North Carolina 28782