"I am in constant awe of the patterns, textures and rhythms of nature. I wish my work to reflect this as well as nature’s mystery; to let the clay dance in my hands and my body so that the clay and I become one. And when the user of these pots eats, drinks or arranges flowers, I hope he or she can experience this mystery and the sacredness of life in small daily rituals." (Artist’s Statement from the Rochester Folk Art Guild Pottery)
Some of the techniques we use in creating our pottery are leaf impressions, brushwork, and basket weave carving.
The decorations on this pottery are made from the imprint of fresh leaves and flowers gathered from the woods, fields and gardens around our farm in Middlesex, New York. First, the piece is thrown on the wheel, then the leaves are pressed into the clay and colored slip is brushed over the leaves. The piece is dried and then bisqui8-fired. The leaves burn away, leaving only their imprint and outline. A slip is applied to accent the imprinted veins, and then the entire piece is dipped in either a celadon or glossy white glaze and high-fired.
The lively brushwork painted on the surface of this pottery derives from folk traditions that have been handed down and elaborated upon for generations. Within the Folk Art Guild a similar process occurs as our brushwork techniques are carefully passed from one craftsperson to the next. The colors of the brushwork are produced by applying slips. A slip is wet clay mixed with naturally occurring oxides such as iron, rutile and cobalt. Each piece is then coated with a glaze and fired to a temperature of 2400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The decoration on this pot is the result of many stages. The horizontal lines are carved while the pot is turning on the wheel and the vertical lines are carved freehand. The pot is the “bisque-fired” at a relatively low temperature (ca. 1750 degrees). A colored clay called “slip” is painted on and wiped off. The slip remains in the carving. The area of the carving is then waxed and the whole pot is dipped in a glaze. The glaze doesn’t adhere to the wax, so the area of the carving remains bard. The pot it fired a second time at a high temperature (ca. 2400 degrees), and the glaze changes from a chalky white to a rich velvety green.