Welcome Grades K - 12
We were very excited to hear that there were
those of you interested in our favorite subject, POTTERY.
There are links provided to specific topic areas regarding the
overall pottery process throughout this page! Enjoy
Ken George is our potter.
He is a master potter, ( such as a master carpenter, or painter).
Ken is knowledgeable in all aspects involving the Art of Pottery.
Ken has been a potter for over 20 years.
He wheel throws all of his pottery.
Which means he hand makes all of his pottery
on a potter's wheel.
Many times Ken uses clay from our farm to make his pieces with.
He works the clay by sieving and cleaning it. Follow this link to learn how you can mine your own clay. Sometimes he mixes different clays together to make certain clay bodies. The next step is preparing your clay for throwing or building.
A process called wedging, helps to rid the clay of air bubbles. Air bubbles can cause your piece to blow up inside the kiln during firing.
Wedged clay ready for throwing
Rolled clay balls about to become art pieces.
Creating a piece of pottery on a potter's wheel is
Ken likes to throw many different sizes and shapes,
large and small. This piece was a Christmas "Bird of Peace"
Ken hand paints his pieces with
(The colors you see on pottery)
Many times he hand ALTERS his pieces.
(Changes their original shape to achieve a certain artistic affect)
Twisted altered shaped vase
These pieces were hand thrown, the bodies were altered,
and then the clay body was carved or INCISED for decoration.
(Can you tell what these are ?)
or highly polished with color clay slips.
In this picture Ken is hand painting the butterflies with
colored clay slips (only one way potter's paint their pieces).
Ken has to first pre fire (or cook)
his pottery before cooking it or firing it in the big wood kiln.
He bisques his pieces in this kiln to 1900 degrees F.
After applying the glazes to his pieces,
It usually holds about 150 to 200 pieces of pottery,
depending on the size of the individual pieces.
The front door is bricked up after Ken has finished loading the kiln.
The wood is then started on fire.
(sort of like a really big barbecue pit).
This is the side of the kiln.
The stoking holes are also located here.
See the fire on the side near Ken? He is putting more wood in.
Ken is making charcoal on the bottom of the kiln floor.
Ken and his studio assistant's must keep the fire stoked,
(feeding it wood for fuel) Ken must build a fire that
reaches temperatures of 2400 degrees F. and more.
It can take many hours to reach the desired temperatures.
Ken will stay and work by the kiln until it has finished firing.
This process can take from 15 to 24 hours usually.
See the orange glow of the fire going on inside the kiln.
Smoke is bellowing from the sides.
This picture was taken at 5:30 am.
The white color indicates a very hot flame
of approximately 2800 degrees F.
After about 24 hours the kiln is cool enough, yet still Very Hot.
Ken begins to un brick one brick from the door at a time.
He is allowing the hot air to gradually bleed
off the pieces inside the kiln.
If he was to un brick the kiln all at once, allowing a flood of cooler air,
pieces would probably crack. Sudden temperature changes.
Very hot to cooler. Like placing a hot glass on a cold surface will crack the pottery.
The kiln is opened completely and cooled art pieces are then removed.
Big bowls, Vases with lots of fish and a giant ACORN.
What is that for? Believe it or not, it is a casserole for baking.
This is a casserole to cook in.
It has a fish for a handle.
Notice the hand carved fish and the hand carvings around these pieces.
A little baby, 10 days old
had her hands and feet imprinted in clay forever.
Finished pieces were delivered to a gallery at the
Lake of the Ozarks.
Ken talking to the gallery owner, Mary.
Mary's shop is called The Find
She sells Ken's pottery along with hand built pottery
by other potters from Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas
Once again, Ken is back at throwing
and the process which really has never stopped, begins again.
At Brushy Creek Pottery we also have workshops
Many times we have young people such as yourselves come for lessons
(Older people like to learn the art too!)
Emily and Nathan Thorne, future potters,
won first place awards at their school.
Artist: Nathan Thorne
Hand Building, Pinch Pot
Artist: Emily Thorne
Slab Building and hand painting
If you have Encarta, plug in pottery.
There are lots of interesting facts about pottery
Did you know the oldest dated artifact is a piece of pottery.
Many pieces of pottery were found in the pyramids at Giza.
Have fun with the Art of Pottery.
Please wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty.
The clay will wash right out with warm water and soap.
Thanks for visiting Brushy Creek Pottery and Pottery the ART
From the crew at Brushy Creek Pottery
Please visit us again soon.
You can E Mail us with your questions anytime.
Teachers: Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need help
with a clay project.