I am a potter who makes wheel thrown and altered functional pots for everyday use. My pieces are mostly wood or gas fired, sometimes with salt or soda introduced into the kiln near the end of the firing. I fire my pieces this way for many reasons. The fired pots look and feel exceptional. Wood ash and salt land on them during firing and the result is that some pots are smooth while others are sharp or prickly; some show the trail of the flame while others show the drips and spots of melted ash; some are immediately beautiful while others take some time to be appreciated. No two wood fired pots are the same because the surface of each pot reflects the impact of many elements including fire, ash, wood type, temperature, and the kiln itself, just to name a few.
Firing this way offers me the opportunity to control parts of the creative process, primarily the forms of the pots and their clay bodies, but also frees me to allow the fire, ash, and salt to leave their particular marks on the pots in their final expression. This in turn lends a serendipitous or "happy chance" element to the process that makes each firing a fresh experience and each pot a new canvas. I enjoy experimenting with a variety of clay bodies including porcelain and stoneware clays. Each clay invites its own set of different textures, markings, and colors during firing.
I began my clay journey in high school in the 1970s, where I hand built pots with a focus on coil work. After a couple of long breaks from clay, I returned with a strong interest in wheel thrown functional pots and firing in wood. The Clay Studio has been my home for the past several years, first as a classroom student, then in independent study, and most recently as an associate artist.
I fire my pots in wood kilns throughout the Commonwealth. They are available for purchase at art and craft shows in the tri-state area, and through my Instagram, Facebook, and Etsy sites.
FB: Barnhouse Pots by Jo
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