Gary began working with ceramics in what he calls "one of those mid-life things." Gary and his wife Anita found themselves in Hawaii where Anita served two tours in the Army Nurse Corps. Working at the Army Arts & Crafts Center, Gary came in contact with clay, the pottery wheel, and instruction. They had a very progressive ceramics department, and Gary refers to his time there as "a very humbling experience".
After participating in workshops at the University of Hawaii where there was an emphasis on Pacific and Asian design, Gary began his journey as a practicing potter and raku artist. Upon their return to the mainland, the family chose to settle on the Washington coast where they could continue to enjoy the ocean and surfing. Gary says the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, combined with his history and experiences in Hawaii, have a continuing influence on his pottery design. Here along the Washington coast, twenty years later, Gary says that clay work still remains one of his best friends.