Kent Harris

Amarillo, TX

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

"Pots made with local materials and a clear purpose can achieve a beauty found most often in nature.  The more pots I make, my commitment to local materials grows.  The local materials I use include a variety of clays and wood ashes.  Preparing local clay-based glazes and "washing" the wood ash are lengthy processes during which I become more mindful.  Using local clays and wood ash glazes also allows me to create pots which reflect the natural beauty of their source, the earth and the trees. 

To throw my pots I use a treadle-wheel.  The slow turning of the manual wheel frees me to leave rhythmic "throwing" lines in the clay, providing areas where the wood ash glaze will pool.  Organic surface decorations achieved by texturing the soft clay create even more recesses for the wood ash to gather.  This creates a subtle contrast in translucency.  Recently I have also been interested in creating organic surface patterns reminiscent of glacial melt and other natural processes.

I believe my pots are honest and spirited because of my dedication to natural materials and my mindful methods.  Because of my reliance on local materials my pottery is unique to the region I dwell.  As the pots leave my studio and go on to be used, they continue their life.  I sincerely hope that my pots bring great joy to their owners."

My process of making the pots:

The process of making pottery is thousands of years old.  I connect myself to the ancient traditions of pot making by the many processes I use.  I throw pots on an English style Treadle Wheel that is foot propelled.  It has a slow rhythmical revolution that lends itself to soft, natural pots.  I throw on the potter's wheel to create a piece that has beauty and will stand the test of time.  After the pot is created on the wheel it must be allowed to dry before being fired to 1850 F in a bisque firing.  After the bisque firing the piece is glazed.  My process of glazing encompasses a use of wood ash glazes, local slip clays, iron and ochers.  Using local materials, wood ashes and a variety of clays for glazes gives my pots a superior quality that cannot be created by any other method.  I have done thousands of glaze tests to find the glazes that I use today.   The processes and materials I use let my art be in harmony with the earth.  All of my work is finished by firing it in a brick gas-fueled kiln to 2400 F in a reduction atmosphere, which fuses the glaze to the clay body.   My pots are dishwasher safe and lead free.  All of my work is made by the highest standards and should provide years of enjoyment.  Perhaps some of them will still be around thousands of years from now.