Here in Jake's Meadow

footedbowl

Footed Bowl, 3 1/4”h.

Pinch pot with glazed interior and wheel-thrown foot. The technique of making a pot through the method of pinching a solid ball of clay into a desired form probably is the most primitive and direct way of making pottery. The consistency of the clay body and its composition (the ratio of clay content to non-plastic material) is crucial to the process of forming the pot and the possibilities one can achieve of size and shape.

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JAKE'S MEADOW POTTERY KILN &
JakesMeadowSummer1

Jacob Crowningshield would be shocked to learn that someone built a house and a pottery studio on his upper sheep meadow. Why on earth would anybody do a thing like that?

Jake is gone. The sheep are gone. And someday I will be gone. But for now, I hand build pots and fire them in a wood burning kiln (the “n” is silent) at “earthenware” temperatures on a piece of property that I call home in the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York State.

My formal studies in clay began with Margaret Fetzer and Louis Mendez at The Ohio State University, Columbus (BA History of Art, 1968). Graduate school followed with study in painting (OSU) and special study with Richard Anuskiewicz at Blossom-Kent Music and Arts Festival (Kent State University, 1968). I studied production pottery with Byron Temple at Greenwich House Pottery in New York City and briefly apprenticed with Louis Mendez at his pottery in Florida, NY, in the early 1970s.

After a stint of production pottery at Henry Okamoto’s Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY, I left to earn a Masters of Arts in sculpture at Hunter College (1977), studying with John Mason, Susan Peterson, Antoni Milkowski and Mary Miss. My thesis concerned “Aspects of the Module in the Work of Carl Andre and Donald Judd”. A workshop with Maria Martinez and family at Idyllwild School of Music and Art in California and a few brief stays at their pueblo in San Ildefonso, NM, has had a lasting influence on my work in pottery.

I’ve always had a deep affinity for primitive lifestyles and ancient pottery and techniques, sparked, in part, by a childhood experience of diggingmetheartist clay from the bank of Lake Newport in Youngstown, Ohio, then forming and “firing” the results on a large stone in the surrounding woods. “This is how the Indians make pottery,” I proclaimed to my older brother. Years later, I had the privilege to handle 4,000 year-old pottery in the storage vault in the basement of the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C. The couple of hours spent there have stayed with me my entire life.

 

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