Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sue Was Right

The image that I posted yesterday and challenged y'all to identify is a pottery studio: a wonderful little place tucked away from any major city or roads. We discovered this artist many years ago in our midwest wanderings and made certain to find him yet again during this trip.

John Thomas has been a potter for all of his adult life, and his experience in his art is definitely visible in his creations. You can read more about Dunn County Pottery on his website, here. Image above and this information is from his site:

John Thomas established Dunn County Pottery in 1973.  An apprenticeship in central Japan gave him direction for a lifetime of work. John invites you to enjoy the colors and textures of these pots and use them in your daily lives.
     “As a potter, the greatest joy I feel is making pots intended for daily use.  I work with local clays, glazed and fired in a wood or gas kiln for a warm and varied effect.  The forms are traditional and are influenced by nature.”
     The pots are wheel thrown using a mixture of clays from Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, and the local area. After glazing with clay slips and glazes, the pots are fired in an electric, gas, or wood kiln. John’s favorite pots come from the wood kiln. Wood ash from the fires and rhythmic fluctuation of oxygen content in the kiln combine to paint, or flash the surface of the pots in unpredictable patterns. During the 20 – 32 hours of firing, the pots are showered in ash, resulting in a myriad of colors and textures. No two are alike.
     All glazes are lead-free. The pottery is safe in the dishwasher. It does well in a conventional or microwave oven as long as the pots and the food are room temperature before putting them in the oven. With careful handling, this pottery will last for years.

We dropped by on a whim as we made our way back to the airport to head home and found the potter in his studio.  He chatted casually with us as we tried to choose from his beautiful things.

Here my John gets a peek into potter John's building housing his wood kiln.

We finally picked these.

What fun.

I love using things that are hand crafted. I like the idea of a skilled craftsman carefully shaping the beautiful mug that holds my morning coffee.


annie said...

Anything that is hand made and not mass produced is made with love and care and is much more appreciated. Beautiful work.

Angana said...

Love this post! I have long held a secret desire to learn to throw pots, but have yet to find a studio and teacher nearby. My cousin and my sister-in-law are both gifted potters and make beautiful bowls, trays, and mugs.

I am reveling in these lovely pictures and the story that goes with them.

Shara from Seattle said...

Can you take a picture of the area of the Ogallala Aquifer region on your way home please? Its the big area of the Midwest from the Dakotas to Texas, you shouldn't miss it if you are doing a flyby?
I'd like to use it on my blog. Thanks for thinking about it.

I have those china shops that you can paint and they fire it up. The satisfaction without the time and muscle.

No wonder you are the way you are, it looks like where they filmed little house on the prairie if you weren't in Green Bay Packers land.

I've been enjoying your trip.If it wasn't for you, I never get out.

Julia Oleinik said...

Sorry, TCN -- already home. Actually, the Little House in the Big Woods was written in this setting, so you're close!

Anonymous said...

This is cool! I have always wanted to throw pottery, and tried one time to work with clay...I would need a heck of a lot of practice to make something that would hold food or water! He had mad skills!