Norman K Frater, Sculptor Nameplate

About the Artist

I have enjoyed art since I can remember. I admired my mother’s watercolors and pastels in her sketchbook before I was old enough for kindergarten. My sister and I would spend hours at a time coloring and painting on rainy days at our northern Wisconsin family cottage.

In high school my interests changed to math, science music and photography. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics and from Stanford University with a master’s degree in civil engineering.  My artistic talents went into engineering design work for a large computer firm in California.

After midlife I returned to the visual arts and through classes and workshops I found my specific calling in clay sculpture.  Moving to central Oregon gave me incentive to pursue sculpture; and with my wife’s encouragement, I designed and built an art studio and began sculpting and conducting sculpture classes. I have joined two groups of professional artists who give me continuing exposure, contacts and encouragement.

Artist Statement

Norman K. Frater is a Central Oregon sculptor who portrays the spirit and beauty of life in his figurative, portraiture, and animal works in clay and metal. He admires Rodin’s sculptures and often is reminded of his statement, “It is simply the power of character which makes beauty in art.” Norman now sculpts the figure, revealing the inner, quiet moments of human truth and often depicting sadness, reflection or stillness. His animals often have a hint of endearing playfulness. He uses moist clay that must be completely dried, kiln fired, then colored using oxide stains, glazes, and layered acrylic patinas. A few ceramic originals have been cast into bronze. He has also used hammered copper and welded steel plate to create figures and animals. His motivation and passion for sculpture come from experiences in observing and photographing nature, from a career in design engineering, from his mother who taught him to draw and appreciate art, and from his spiritual connection with the Creator.  


98-2004 Figure drawing, art history, sculpture, metalcraft and other art classes, Central Oregon Community College, Bend, OR;
2001 Bronze Sculpture class, Nye Bennett Miller, Tumalo, OR;
2000 Garden Sculpture class, Georgies Clay Company, Eugene, OR;
1996-97 Figurative Sculpture classes, Sunnyvale Community Center, Sunnyvale, CA; Portrait in Clay Workshop, Elizabeth Buss, San Jose, CA;
1991-96 Creative Painting Workshops, The Painting Experience, San Francisco, CA;
1994 Level I Expressive Arts Therapy Training, The Person Centered Expressive Therapy Institute, Santa Rosa, CA.
1990 Art for Adult Children, August O’Conner, Santa Cruz, CA
1978 Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Structures, Leland Stanford Junior University, Stanford, CA;
1968 Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI



Clay Guild of the Cascades, Bend, OR

Norman working in his studio

Special Recognition/Awards:

2010 Chairman’s Choice, Transfiguration 2010 Art Show, Transfiguration Episcopal Church, Sisters, Oregon
2008 Best of show, Sculpture, Wildfire Pottery Showcase, 2008, Bend, Oregon
2005 Faculty Purchase Award by Central Oregon Community College
2005 First place Sculpture, Central Oregon Community College student art show
2000 First place in 3D Design, Central Oregon Community College student art show
1998 Second place in “That’s Amore” juried show at Mirror Pond Gallery, Bend, Oregon
1998 Installation of figurative ceramic sculpture for conference room at IBM Corporation, San Jose, California

Galleries That Have Shown Work:

N. K. Frater is represented by the following galleries and venues:

Circle of Friends Art Gallery, 19889 8th Street, Bend, OR (corner of Hwy 97 and Cook Avenue in Tumalo)

Art on the River, annual art show and sale at Eagle Crest Resort, Redmond, OR (usually held at end of April), Eagle Crest Art Association

Transfiguration Art Show, annual juried show featuring recognized Northwest artists at Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Sisters, OR (usually held in early August)

Wildfire Pottery Showcast, annual pottery show and sale at Highland Elementary School, 701 NW Newport Avenue, Bend, OR (usually held beginning of November), Clay Guild of the Cascades

Frater’s Sculptures have been exhibited in group and juried shows at the following galleries and venues:

Alleda Real Estate, Bend, OR
Art on the River, Eagle Crest Resort, Redmond, OR
Aspen Lakes Golf Course, Sisters, OR
Barclay Gallery, Sisters, OR
Bend Public Library, Bend, OR
Brown’s Gallery, Boise, ID
Columbia River Bank, Bend, OR
Don Terra Artworks, Sisters, OR
Douglas Fine Jewelry Design, Bend, OR
Enid Joy Mount Gallery, Keizer, OR
Falcon Crest Gallery, Eagle Crest, OR
Gallery at Pinckney Center, Bend, OR
Harrington’s Gallery, Cannon Beach, OR
Inspirations Art Gallery, Madras, OR
Mirror Pond Gallery, Bend, OR
Redmond Public Library, Redmond, OR
Sunriver Public Library, Sunriver, OR
Sunriver Lodge, Betty Gray Art Gallery, Sunriver, OR
Tower Theatre, Bend, OR
Transfiguration Art Show, Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Sisters, OR
Wildfire Pottery Showcase, Bend, OR

    Norman K. Frater | Ceramic & Metal Sculptor

Norman Frater Sculptures

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