Taiwanese sculptor Gaylord Ho was born in Hsin-Wu, Taiwan. Born to poor farmers Gaylord spent most of his free time helping, along with his brother, with the chores of scratching out a living on a small rice farm in middle Taiwan. His parents, while certainly not well off financially, were accepting and loving of their children and believed strongly in education. Gaylord was sent off to the public school system as soon as he was of age.
He was not, however, relieved of his duties on the farm and spent many afternoons and holidays wading in the rice paddies pulling weeds and grass, planting rice plants or harvesting the latest crops. Water buffalo was the main farm equipment of the day.
After attending the local school system, Gaylord entered and graduated from the National Taiwan Academy of Arts. His parents were tolerant of his artistic leanings; Gaylord says that his first foray into art was with crayons on his mother’s kitchen wall. They were not, however, convinced that art was a good occupation or a good way to make a living. Gaylord was “called” and would not sway from his goal to be an artist. Gaylord graduated at the top of his class. His student sculptures won the National Sculpture Exhibition. While acclaimed as a student, Gaylord realized that he still had to find a way for his art to provide a living.
After fulfilling his military obligation, all Taiwan boys must spend two years in military service after graduating college, he decided that he could advance his sculpting skills by studying under some of the great Japanese sculptors of the day. He traveled to Seto City, Japan, outside of Nagoya, and lived as an apprentice there during 1975 and again in 1977. The opportunity to learn was great. The conditions under which he lived and learned were not so great. Gaylord explains that he ate miso soup every day for breakfast, for lunch and then again for dinner. As a young man it was barely enough to subsist upon and he still complains that his stomach was hungry every day.
The experience, however, gave him sharpened sculpting skills and an in depth knowledge of the techniques of porcelain and ceramic manufacturing. Back in Taiwan, he used these newly acquired skills to gain employment at a well known porcelain factory. During this period, in 1979, he and his life partner, Lucia, established the Nomiso Porcelain Design Center. I’ve often wondered if the original name meant, No Miso, for no more miso soup. In 1986 the name was changed to Gaylord Design Corporation. Gaylord Design is celebrating their 25th anniversary of business this year.
Over the years Gaylord has enjoyed much commercial success. He is world famous in the gift and collectibles industry for his numerous successful designs. He has been nominated “Artist of the Year” many times by the collectibles industry. He has been honored by such groups as the National Association of Limited Edition Dealers for his award winning sculptures. He has won awards for his individual sculpts almost every year for the past twenty years.
Having achieved the financial success that he needed to support his family, Gaylord now is directing his full energy into satisfying the artist within himself. The artist who, as a student created art just for fun, is now being realized but at the hands of an accomplished masterfully skilled sculptor.