I make functional pottery that is meant to be used and enjoyed. My work in clay has evolved into two styles. Like the two sides of a coin, quite different in outward appearance but with the same intrinsic value. Part of me is a folk artist capturing on clay, the everyday images of the family cats. But my love of nature and gardening is reflected in my heavily carved and textured vessels.
Handmade objects have an intrinsic value that no machine made product can achieve. I make functional pottery because I hope to transfer to you, some of the pleasure I’ve experienced in creating a lasting treasure.
For over 35 years I’ve operated a pottery studio at our home in Medical Lake Washington. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Studio Art from the University of Wisconsin. I apprenticed as a studio potter with Marv Doering and Graduated from Eastern Washington University I’ve taught Art in public schools, private schools and at the university level. I’ve visited potters in England, France, Greece, and Honduras. But, I studied the work of both contemporary and ancient potters. The unifying theme since the first potter touched clay is to make the perfect pot you’ve just got to touch and enjoy. I have been a member of the Pottery Place Plus since 1984.
They say the clay remembers the hands that made it. Clay has it’s own small voice, and sings.
It is a small sound and always far away, but they say sometimes you hear it.
It’s song has lasted for thousands of years.
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Common Ground Pottery
I have been working as a professional potter for 20 years. I was first introduced to the clay medium in 1979 while studying art at EWU and it was love at first touch. I studied under Bill Sage and finally received a B.A. in 1988.
I became the resident potter at the Y.W.C.A. in 1983 and a member of the “Pottery Place Plus” in 1986. In 1989 I quit my job and the “Pottery Place Plus” to go to graduate school at the University of Oregon and received an M.F.A. degree in 1991. I returned to Spokane in ’91 and renewed my membership at the “Pottery Place Plus” in ’92.
I am a potter from Veradale, Washington and have been influenced by life in diverse locales, stretching from Colorado to Cairo; from Bangladesh to Beirut. The mix of American and foreign influences, leavened by extensive travel, graduate study in New Mexico, and a Masters Degree from the American University in Cairo, is seen in the textures and shapes of my pottery. The earthen, natural tones, and rough surfaces evoke images of distant, past civilizations of the American Indian and the ancient lands of the Middle East and South Asia. Shapes drawn from the daily lives of these peoples are seen in my pottery, hinting at water jugs alongside old wells and cooking pots on open fires. This effect has been achieved through a unique combination of handbuilding and work on the potter’s wheel yielding a truly remarkable cross cultural art form.
My love affair with clay began the first time I sat down at the wheel. I was dressed in a suit—a poor choice for a pottery class! Prior to that day, the thought that I might be an artist had never entered my mind. I could not imagine doing anything passable with a paint brush.
Since then, I have created hundreds of pots using a wheel very similar to the one on which I threw my first pot. In addition, I enjoy hand-building and altering thrown forms. I use porcelain, stoneware, and earthenware clays in a variety of applications. Most firing is done in a kiln, but I find the earthy effects created by firing in a pit or saggar most intriguing.
The beauty of the creation around us inspires much of the decoration I add to the forms I create. Florals are a passion, and I really did learn to use a paintbrush! I add interest to my pots in a variety of ways, including impressed work, sgraffito, sprigging, wax resist, and slip.
Each piece is hand-crafted from start to finish, with careful attention given to each step in the process. This includes throwing or hand-building, trimming, handles or other additions, glazes, bisque and glaze firing, not to mention that final smoothing of the foot so the pot will be kind to your table when you use it. When you purchase one of my pots, you are reaping the investment of many hours of my time and care.
My pottery is functional ware. Each piece has its purpose which, in part, is determined by the person who “adopts” it. While many are intended to be used with food, pit and saggar fired ware are decorative only and are not food safe. My hope is that all of my pots will be used and loved and bring enrichment to the lives of their owners.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever. —- John Keats
Contact me at 208-686-1041
Visit my website! Wildwood Pottery
My first encounter with clay was in high school art class in Worthington, Ohio. I was signed up for a drawing class but happened to wander into the clay studio one day. The minute I touched the clay, I knew that was what I wanted to do. In 1983, I decided to pursue my long-held interest in clay and started by taking a course at the Spokane Art School. Over the years I have attended many workshops, however, I am mostly self-taught. I’ve learned by reading, examining other pots, and talking with other artists. My father, a fellow potter, also inspired me.
In 1990 I established Peone Creek Pottery at my home in Mead, Washington. In the years that have followed I have been an exhibitor at many of the local and regional arts and crafts festivals and have participated in workshops and demonstrations. Since June 2000 I have been a member of the Pottery Place Plus artist cooperative in Spokane, Washington where my pottery is on display year-round. My website, www.peonecreekpottery.com, also provides images of a good sampling of my pottery and a way to contact me.
I have found great satisfaction in learning to use clay as a medium of personal expression. I am always learning new techniques; always experimenting with new shapes. Being a potter is an amazing, never-ending journey.
Visit My Website! Peone Creek Pottery
Or call me: 509.468.9932
She is inspired by the majesty of the Western United States and works to combine the nature she loves in a truly functional pot. She focuses on concise design, quality of form, and subtle earthy glazes. Michelle creates and fires pottery to be used and enjoyed.
Michelle studied ceramics at Bonners Ferry High School, continued with pottery classes at Whitworth College and apprenticed with Adam Scoggin of Blue Heron Pottery.
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