At 80, Alum Ron Nagle Still Perfecting His Otherworldly Sculptures

Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Photo of Ron Nagle seated in studio blowing dust off ceramic artwork
Photo by William Pruyn

ARTSY -- While Nagle enrolled at San Francisco State in 1958 as an English major, he swiftly began focusing on art.

“I had a briefcase that was full of books and one day, symbolically or not so symbolically, I dumped all the books and filled it with ceramic tools,” he laughed.

His obsession with the clay galvanized hard and fast, spurred by an introduction to Voulkos’s work through his friend Rick Gomez, a whiz on the pottery wheel. Nagle was so intent on being in the school’s ceramic studio at all hours that he’d bribe the janitor with a half-pint to secure nighttime access: “He’d have a couple of nips and leave the window open for us.”