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JoAnne Sutkin

Associate Artist - Current

I am a potter who makes wheel thrown and altered functional pots.  My pieces are wood or gas fired, sometimes with salt or liquid sodium bicarbonate introduced into the kiln near the end of the processes. Using and participating in these firings gives me the chance to interact with my pieces in a different way, and to control parts of the mud-to-pot process while relying on the fire to leave its mark on the pots in their final expression.

I began my clay journey in high school in the 1970s, where I was an avid hand builder focusing on coil work.  After a hiatus of over 15 years, I returned to clay and was introduced to the wheel, wood firing, and raku. I took another 10 plus year hiatus, but the pull of mud was undeniable and I returned to clay several years ago, this time at The Clay Studio, where I met new teachers and mentors, and  learned different techniques, which in the words of Paulus Berensohn, returned me to the road to “finding my way with clay.”

Currently, I enjoy experimenting with a variety of clay bodies including porcelains and stonewares to draw out unique textures, markings, and colors during the firing phase. My clay choice, along with settling ash, glaze, salt and soda, results in pots that invite people to touch, use and enjoy them.  I prefer to focus on basic forms such a bowls and tumblers, often altering them or introducing surface texture for comfort and visual interest. I then set those forms free in the fire, where they are licked by flame and attacked by ash.

I live in New Jersey with my husband of 30 years, and have three adult children and two feisty Devon Rex cats.