In 1993 I fell in love with the movement of flame through a wood-kiln. Its sensuous quality is something I seek to capture in my work with soft forms, full curves and flame paths etched into the surface. This quest led me to an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. I now own Mill Creek Pottery in Wisconsin, where my apprentices and I work to advance the cause of wood-fired pottery.
In 2013 I was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Taiwan exploring the potential of local materials. Recently I have been a visiting artist, lecturer and kiln builder at The China Academy of the Arts in Hangzhou. There my apprentices and I have been bringing a technology that originated in Asia and has evolved in the incubator of the United States back to Asia. Clay is central to my life.
This past May, ceramic artist, author and podcaster Benjamin Carter came out to Mill Creek Pottery to be our Guest Artist at the Intimate Anagama Workshop. Benjamin demonstrated throwing techniques and spoke about his work and the way he thinks about functional pottery. It was fantastic to demo in the studio alongside Ben. While he was there he also did recodered several podcats. The first of which was an interview with me as I talk about woodfiring, my own work, hosting a workshop, having apprentices and moving the pottery to Illinois. More info and the podcast itself is available at TalesofaRedClayRambler.com
Shawano Miles of Art
September 30th and October 1st
Shawano County "Miles of Art” is a fall celebration of the arts and nature throughout Shawano and Menominee Counties (Shawano Country). The event will include self-guided tours of area artists’ studios and galleries, Walls of Wittenberg murals, Shawano Country Barn Quilts, Gresham Community Quilts, live music, and dancing, combined with colorful fall drives.
Join us at Mill Creek Pottery where we will be showcasing local and guest artists as well as Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats. Local artists include Simon Levin, Harry Levenstein, Nancy Korth, and Megan Dorsch. Guest artists include Ian Connors from Lake Geneiva, WI , and Steve Rolf from River Falls, WI.
Woodfire NC 2017
It was a pleasure to attend the International Woodfire Conference at STARworks in Star, NC this year. I was invited to participate in the panel Build to Last: Kiln Design, Materials and Methods along with Logan Wannamaker, Ben Owens III, and Ryuichi Kakurezaki. While down In NC, I also had the opportunity to hunt for and dig up some local clay, which I brought home with me and created some test pots. Before the conference, I took a visit to Josh Copus' where they were in the middle of firing two kilns.
In 2015 I ran an Indiegogo Campaign, and with the support of many we re-built some of the wood kilns, bought a new electric kiln, and revitalized the studio. One of the perks was the creation of this book. For the past 14 years I have been saving some of the best pots from each firing for my children.
We inventoried, photographed and recorded the collection and in the process we made this lovely book. Blurb publishing produces an extremely high quality product and I am pleased to make this collection available online.
In 2014 my apprentices Lars Voltz, Kelsie Rudolph and I traveled to Hangzhou China. There we built two kilns for China Academy of the Arts. I was hired to return December 2015 to teach firing and loading techniques. We fired 3 times while there.The process is documented on instagram and Facebook under the hashtag #FireInChina. Josh Copus a wood fire potter from North Carolina joined me in this excursion.