Elena White – Lititz, PA
I use the pottery wheel to throw the majority of my pieces, often altering or carving them with different tools. I also do some hand building which consists of rolling out the clay to a thin slab. I then can drape it into or over a plaster mold or cut it into smaller pieces and put them together into the desired shape. Some pieces are a mixture of all techniques. I use stoneware, porcelain and low fire red clays. I make most of my own glazes from their basic chemical components: a glass former, a melter, a stabilizer and oxides for color. All of my work is food safe, dishwasher safe, microwave safe and oven safe.
Amy Holland – Lititz, PA
Working on an idea, or a request from someone, starts in my sketchbook. Every part of the process of creating pottery is fun, challenging, and satisfying to me.
Making a well-made and useful pot that also adds Art to a home is my goal. When my vision of what I want to create is clear, I begin making the pots on my kick wheel (a traditional, non-electric potter’s wheel). Trimming and attention to the finished craftsmanship happens when the pots are leather hard. Time and patience are the biggest challenges of this process. The decoration decisions are next. Sculpting, carving, and some painting happen at this stage as well. When the pots are bone dry they are ready for the first, or bisque, firing. After the firing and cooling and patiently waiting, the pots are ready for any final painting of imagery. Choosing glaze combinations and how to apply them is the last decorative step to each pot. The pots then go back into the kiln to fire the glaze. More patiently waiting. Finally, when I open the kiln, the pots that emerge will fulfill my vision, will be beautiful, functional and lasting pieces of Art for you to enjoy.
Dave and Rachiel Oakley – Lancaster County, PA
When I make a new glass bowl or plate sometimes it’s the colors I want to use that decide the design. Other times, I have a definite design in mind and then choose the colors. Either way, once those decisions are made I start cutting the design elements from sheets of glass that start out approximately 20” x 30”. I also cut a second piece of glass that is the shape of the mold. Every bowl I make it two layers so I then glue the pieces together so that I can safely move it to the kiln for firing. A minimum of two firings are required. The first one fuses or melts all the pieces together. The temperature rises to 1,500 degrees and it is at least 12 hours before the piece can come out of the kiln. Patience is definitely required. If you open the kiln too soon there is a good chance the piece will crack due to the sudden change in temperature. The second firing slumps the glass into a mold so that it obtains its shape. In this case, the kiln “only” rises to approximately 1,275 degrees. Opening the kiln at the end is always an AH!AH! moment. You never know if the piece is a success until that second. So many things could happen during a firing, including having the piece break, but when it all works and I see a beautiful new piece of Art it’s a great feeling.
Mary Anderson and Leslie Howland – Lititz Pottery
The first piece of advice about single-firing pottery is to find a friend to do it with. We started this journey 15 years ago when our children were in nursery school. Over the years we have spent hundreds of hours at each other’s homes, on the phone and even in playgrounds talking about glazes. We’ve even named glazes after our children. We’ve had fun encouraging each other and slowing each other down when necessary. Our friendship works very well!
We like to single-fire our pottery because the process eliminates an entire kiln load and an entire heating of the kiln for a bisque fire—saves time, money and wear and tear on the kiln. The first time we decided to try to dip dry clay pieces into glaze was similar to a Three Stooges episode. We had a bucket of glaze and a kitchen strainer ready to fish out pieces of wet clay—not very optimistic. However, it went better than expected, and we have come a long way since that day. Hopefully, when using a piece of our pottery, you can see the joy and laughter and love that has gone into every piece. Thank you and enjoy!
Lisa Behm Pottery – Chester County, PA
I make primarily functional pottery in wonderful colors of green, blues, and purples. I have always been a lover of pottery, and have collected pieces from all over the world. I enjoy the studio, to push clay boundaries, share ideas with other potters, and just have fun.