Ray was born in Syracuse, NY and spent his childhood summers at his family’s camp in Alexandria Bay. And although his life would take him to Nevada, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida, his attachment to the North Country inevitably led him to settle once again in the rural north.
He began making pottery 50 years ago when he built two wood fired kilns, to originally produce porcelain ceramics. He then turned his craft to stoneware.
Ray is self-taught, and learned his techniques and glazes from books written by master potters. His ash glazes are made with the ash from his wood stove, and his clay slip is enhanced by local red and purple shale which he crushes and ball-mills. His color slips of celadon, and copper red and decorative incised designs are inspired by Asian ceramics.