David Salk can truly be considered an Idyllwild artist, having moved to the mountain as a full time resident more than thirty years ago. Even before moving here, David, who grew up in Palm Springs was a frequent visitor. He also attended one year of high school at the Idyllwild Desert Sun School.
Idyllwild played a decisive role in confirming David’s career choice when he was still a young college student finding his way. ISOMATA (now Idyllwild School of the Arts) provided David the rare opportunity to study with the famous San Ildefonso potter, Maria Martinez and the rest is history. To this day, David remains a close personal friend to the Martinez family as well other Native American potters, especially the Acoma potters of the Lucy Lewis family.
Over the years David has created a unique style of both functional and decorative pottery. People admire the soft free-form shapes and unusual glazing of David’s functional pottery and enjoy using these pieces for all kinds of food serving.
David’s specialty is his personal creation, which he calls a “clay basket. Here David combines his refined pottery skills with his great passion for Native American woven baskets. (David sometimes refers to himself as a “basket case”.) He researches and painstakingly reproduces the intricate designs and coiled shapes of early 19th century southwest baskets. The designs are recreated using iron oxide, which is then fired into the clay as a way of preserving these designs for future generations. David’s work has been recognized for its accuracy by the Museum of National History in Santa Barbara.
David’s clay baskets and glazed pottery are in collections all over the United States and in a t least thirty-six different countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. He has been written about in several art publications and has won numerous awards throughout the Southwest. Over the years David’s work has been shown in a variety of galleries including Santa Fe, NM, Sedona, AZ, Jackson Hole, WY, Alexandria, VA, Springdale, UT and several galleries in the desert communities here in California.
David’s work can be found in Idyllwild and at art shows.