Kate & Jere Huffman, What Cheer Potters
What Cheer, IA
What Cheer Potters make fine functional stoneware using a potter's wheel and a special blend of clay, which adds a unique quality to the workability and firing properties of the finished product. The glazes and clay body are continuously being developed for color, feel, and texture, with qualities that work well in the microwave and dishwasher.
What Cheer Potters believe that the life of an artist is a continual learning process. It requires a dedication to learning in order to convey the inner feelings and experiences that have accumulated and to transfer it to a formless lump of clay. Even after years of experience and thousands of pots, the trained eye can see qualities that might have made a difference in bringing more "life" and excitement to each pot.
Their current technique for decorating the ware is to brush a wax resistant design on top of the first glaze, and then place a second glaze on top of that. Additional colored glazes are applied whenever the design calls for color.
Once each piece has been glazed, it goes into an electric kiln for a second time and is fired in order to melt all of the glazes that have been applied and to vitrify the clay into a finished piece. Jere completes all of the firing, because he both understands and enjoys the process, and he has devoted a lot of his time to becoming an expert. It takes about two months for each ball of clay to go through all of the processes and become a finished piece of pottery.
Their work has evolved over the years and will continue to change as new ideas and glazes are realized. Each piece is an original work - the result of working day after day, year after year, towards the making of a beautiful pot.