Rod Dugal was born in Houma, Louisiana. After working a few years on oil drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Louisiana State University. In an attempt to escape the oppressive heat and humidity of the south, he traveled north to receive his Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
He has held teaching positions at the Vermont State Craft Center at Frog Hollow, Middlebury College, State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and The University of Notre Dame. He and his family moved to Sheridan, WY in 2005 where he is a Senior Professor of Art at Sheridan College. His work is exhibited regionally and nationally. When he is not working, he and his wife Dimitra spend as much time camping, hiking, fishing, and exploring the Big Horn Mountains as they can.
Rod makes functional work for use in daily life. He draws influence from the simplicity and utility of Korean Ido Ware, Medieval English Ware, and Kamara Palace Ware of Crete. This along with their relationship to forms from nature and architecture give him plenty of inspiration. He uses traditional techniques along with “local” materials such as wood ash, coal ash, and “raw earth” from the Big Horn mountains in his slips and glazes and fires them in atmospheric wood and soda kilns. The atmosphere in the kilns allows these materials to become fugitive and move through the kiln in the flames to create varied and unique surfaces. This process leaves a bit of chance in the finished product that keep the work exciting and always moving forward.