Articles

Illustration by Zoe Pappenheimer for Studio Potter journal, 2018.
The pottery-tour phenomenon and the fact that geographic location is integral to the identities of both pots and potters are the impetuses for the issue you now hold in your hands (or view on your screen).
Illustration by Zoe Pappenheimer for Studio Potter journal, 2018.
A Listing of self-guided, multi-stop pottery and ceramics studio tours around North America.
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Woodpile and plates outside a potter’s home in Olari, Romania. Plates displayed on the outside of a home signify a pottery. All photos by Paula Marian, 2017.
The pottery of Olari reflects generations’ worth of knowledge and skill handed down through pottery families, and today it is supported by a robust retail art market.
Shoko Teruyama. Flower Plate, 2017. Electric fired earthenware with sgraffito decoration. .5 x 9 x 9 in. Photograph courtesy of the artist.
To tour is to journey for pleasure, and before I set off on the St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour, the pleasure I was most looking forward to was the chance to leave the city and drive north through the St. Croix River Valley...
Dustin Yager. Untitled (hello, its me), 2016. Porcelain, decals, gold luster. 12 x 6 x 22.5 in. Photograph by Peter Lee.
Whether it is because of the palpable legacy of artists who hatched in its neighborhoods or the certainty of rubbing elbows with countless outside-the-box types in everyday interactions, Brooklyn is a place where people come to be inspired...
Title Page from print edition of Studio Potter, The Dirty Canteen, Winter/Spring, 2018.
I was on my way to a graduate school life-drawing class when, on a giant tv in the student union, I saw a plane fly into the World Trade Center. Three semesters later I was in Iraq, deployed as a medic with the Iowa National Guard.
Title Page from print edition of Studio Potter, The Dirty Canteen, Winter/Spring, 2018.
A paramour of mine once called me a secret bad ass. At the time I was at Central Washington University. She, like so many others, was surprised to learn that I was a combat veteran spending his post-army life studying philosophy and fine art.
Title Page from print edition of Studio Potter, The Dirty Canteen, Winter/Spring, 2018.
My partner, Sarah, and I own ten acres along the Pecatonica river in southwestern Wisconsin, an area known as “Driftless.” The property has become a sanctuary for veterans, mostly family friends, who come as a reprieve from their daily lives.
Title Page from print edition of Studio Potter, The Dirty Canteen, Winter/Spring, 2018.
Working in ceramics, I have the possibility of sharing a beverage and a story with someone 500,000 to 1,000,000 years from now. From my hand to your hand to some point thousands of years in the future.
Willi Singleton. Woodfired Vase with Grass Pattern, 2017. Hawk Mountain and Chesapeake clays, white slip, creek clay, wood ash glaze. 8.5 x 8 x 8 in. Photograph by KenEk Photography.
"People often think of art as the most highly cultured, the most disciplined, the most organized of human productions [...] but art doesn’t happen unless you let the wild in." --Gary Snyder
A workshop making teapots in Shigaraki, 1872.
In the summer of 1973, I was taking a walk with two young women who were apprentices at workshops in the pottery-filled town of Shigaraki, Japan, when we came across a small shed by the side of the road...
Mark Hewitt. Half Gallon Pitcher, 2018. 12 x 7 in. Ash glazed neck with kaolin slip swags, wood-fired salt glaze.
Contemporary wood-firing potters are inevitably representative of a continuum of past practices, and as such we speak to the complexity of our past and present.
Striations in a Catawba clay deposit, North Carolina.
A pot may take on a meaning beyond what we as makers have imagined, and we try to leave room in the design for that to occur.
Pottery by Ben Richardson for Garagistes restaurant, Hobart, Tasmania. Culinary arts by Chef Luke Burgess (center, in red). Photograph by Chris Crerar.
Recently, having my work used in fine dining restaurants, where the work can be seen and enjoyed fully within a theatre of dining, has been a powerful force.
Islesford Pottery entrance; platter at right by author.
I think people buy pots because they want a reminder of time and place and they enjoy a connection to the people here; many return to renew their connection year after year.
Bob McWilliams. Ash Teapot, 2016. Stoneware, thrown, cut, and altered. 13 x 11 x 6 in. Photograph by artist.
We of the generation in their late sixties are realizing we need to cut back on producing at high volume, throwing too many pounds of clay at one time, and sustaining a rigorous schedule.
Illustration by Zoe Pappenheimer for Studio Potter journal, 2018.
On Saturday morning I drove to Todd Pletcher's ... I’ll admit, as I sipped coffee in my booth that morning, I questioned the wisdom of staging a pottery sale in the midst of a thousand corn fields.
Illustration by Zoe Pappenheimer for Studio Potter journal, 2018.
Rolling through a thirty-mile stretch of northern Nebraska’s Missouri River Breaks, the Omaha North Hills Pottery Tour is a self-guided trek.
Robin DuPont. Jar, 2017. Wood-fired porcelain. 16 x 16 x 16 in.  Photograph by artist.
Visiting studios and talking with the artists themselves is integral to understanding the varied approaches to making a living as a craft artisan.
We discussed many aspects of the presenters’ stories and the impact of their craft practices on us as participants and on our thinking as consumers, makers, and designers.
Christy Knox, who inspired Kerstetter's poem, in her studio, Cummington, Massachusetts.
A poem by Greg Kerstetter