All of my pottery begins as a lump of Stoneware clay. I enjoy rustic qualities that emphasize the handmade nature of the work, and I often leave marks in the clay from my hands and fingers. Once the pottery is dry, I fire each piece in a natural gas kiln to 1800 degrees F. This changes the pots from clay to ceramic. Then, the pottery is ready for glazing.
Paul and Julie's pottery was made with a wood ash glaze called a Nuka Glaze. I get the ashes for this glaze from a family in Collegeville, MN, which lets me reuse a waste material while tying the pottery to the local region. The ashes also bring out rustic colors and textures in the glaze. I mix a custom glaze recipe, then dip the pottery in a bucket of glaze. I brush red iron wash onto the surface to create rust colored drips. Pottery was then re-loaded into the kiln for the final glaze firing.
Natural gas fuels the kiln, which melts the glaze and iron during the 12 hour firing. The iron creates earthen tones and a sense of movement as it drips down the fluid glaze at high temperature. After reaching 2400 degrees F, the kiln is turned off and allowed to cool for 2-3 days. The pottery is now finished with a durable, food-safe surface and ready for the kitchen.
My signature is included on the bottom of all pottery and it represents a mountain landscape. I use this symbol as my signature because natural landscapes like the Rocky Mountains have had a huge impact on my artwork and life. This also represents the setting where I want to eventually live and work.