Steve Aitchison

Ames, IA


As an artist I believe we create in response to the seasons of our lives.  From Midwestern roots, I spent many years based out of the desert southwest.  In that wilderness of heat and light I forged my ideas merging ancient, traditional and modern technologies.  My work incorporates a combination of clay bodies, glazes, firings, post firing surfaces and patinas – in a synthesis of materials and technique.  My observations and experience make this work unique. 

 Spiral Galaxy Series

These platters are known as the “Spiral Galaxy” series.  Inspired by the spiral imagery emerging from the center of each piece, they evoke a sense of wonder looking into the depths of the universe.  I approach them as glaze paintings but they are primarily intended as wall pieces.  My glazed platters are not affected by sunlight, offering clients an alternative to conventional art in highly ultraviolet environments.  High fired in porcelain they are also food safe.

Cloud Vessels

These vessels are formed on the potter’s wheel using a variety of porcelains.  Coated in earthen oxides, then surrounded with organic fuels in an open kiln chamber.  As the firing temperature increases to red heat, relationships between fuels, clay body surface treatments and the proximity of one vessel to another take on a life of their own.  The cloud-like colorations emerging from the ashes tell the story of the firing.  In this process of controlled risk, the idea is to capture the ethereal imagery of the ebb and flow of the fire on a classic vessel form.  This process is like painting with fire.  Sculptural and contemplative, Cloud Vessels are not intended to hold liquids, only your attention.