Glenfiddich Farm Pottery
17642 Canby Road Leesburg, VA 20175
Waterford/Leesburg, Stop #17
I make high-fired functional pottery in my home studio located in a 180-year-old former dairy barn on 20 acres atop scenic Catoctin Mountain just a few minutes west of Leesburg.
My purpose as a ceramic artist is to create objects that are both beautiful and functional. My sense of beauty is strongly influenced by the beauty I see in nature — in its colors and shapes, its textures and rhythms. A key aspect of nature's esthetic for me lies in its imperfections, its asymmetrically, its randomness, its unpredictability — all qualities I endeavor to capture in my work.
A rural dweller, I am the lucky to witness daily the local landscape in northwestern Virginia, with its lush vegetation, its rolling terrain, its rocky outcroppings, its streams, woods and earthy colors. The natural beauty here offers a constant source of inspiration.
Clay is itself of-the-earth, of course, and for me it is the perfect medium for creative expression. Because I am working with natural ingredients, which are inherently imperfect, my purpose is not to make perfect forms. I want my forms to be dynamic, interesting and alive. The shapes and textures I create out of wet clay are done as quickly and with as little conscious thought as possible. Imperfections are not only allowed, they are valued.
Glazes made from ash and other natural ingredients are sometimes poured and allowed to drip down, like water trickling over rock. When brushwork is applied, that too is done with rapid gestures rather than following some carefully planned design. And finally, many of the vessels are fired in a salt kiln, where the sodium vapors react chemically with the silica in the clay body to form a natural glaze on exposed areas of raw clay, and where random colors and marks appear unexpectedly, as if by magic — gifts from the kiln gods.
The entire process is in and of nature, and for whatever artistic success I have achieved I can thank nature itself for providing me with the stimulus, the materials, and the sense of esthetics that guides me as I explore the visual and tactile possibilities of my chosen medium.
Offering on tour: Throwing demos. Tours of studio and kiln shed. Refreshments.
Directions to Glenfiddich Farm Pottery:
From East Colonial Highway (old Route 7), go south on Canby Road (Route 662) for about 3/4 of a mile. Sign for #17642 is on the left. Go down a long (almost half a mile) driveway, over a cattle grate, to our restored barn that dates back to the 1840s.