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Peter Yates Pilat

July 17, 1939 ~ March 16, 2019 (age 79)

Peter Pilat was born in Ossining, New York and lived there until moving to Santa Paula, California during his high school years. He graduated with honors from University of California Santa Barbara earning a degree in Engineering before discovering and embracing his love of art and creative expression. Thus, he earned a Master of Art Degree from San Jose State College with an emphasis in ceramics. When a call for duty came, Peter joined the Army and was stationed at Fort Ord where he taught English. His temporary post on the Monterey Peninsula became more permanent after his military service when he established his own studio in Carmel Valley. From the fires of an 1898 bow-legged kiln, Peter's unique works emerged and were later displayed in a local shop as well as various other locations around the state. After teaching in Salinas, he joined the staff of Monterey Peninsula College where he was a ceramics instructor for many years. He ignited a spark of creativity in hundreds of students, and when it flourished, bequeathed a lifetime gift of artistic pleasure.
Probing mysteries of the inner life lead Peter to spearhead a Jungian Dream Group for over 15 years. As one participant remarked, "His recitation of poems opened our sessions as we shared and analyzed our dreams. Peter's insightful guidance was a great support on our journey dealing with many of life's obstacles. We are eternally grateful for his talent, patience and wisdom…"
Peter was fulfilled when using his extraordinary skills confronting the inferno of a pottery kiln or manipulating the magic of molten glass. His ceramics and blown glass creations have been shown all over California in exhibitions and museums as well as a museum in Kansas City. The parallels of an artistic family were highlighted at a Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art show entitled Two California Artists: Two Centuries, One Family celebrating Peter and his ancestors. On display were Peter's works and the well-known Early California artists, Thaddeus Welch and his wife, Peter's great aunt, Ludmilla Pilat Welch. Recently, Peter donated his extensive collection of their paintings to the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art and the Marin History Museum.
A celebration of life will be held privately to honor Peter.
Condolences may be written to the family at

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