James T. Olney
Curbside 513 Gallery
My formal introduction to clay began with a degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. I continued my journey in North Carolina with a three year apprenticeship for Mark Hewitt, as an artist in resident at potteries in Minnesota and New York, and I completed a two year Peace Corps service in Tanzania where I worked closely with local potters. My work experiments with classical form creating a three dimensional narrative for surface, texture, and color. I keep a limited glaze palate choosing instead to apply simple clay slips to leather hard or bone dry pots. I might also wedge coarse materials such as mullite or feldspar to the clay to give it texture. Decoration is carefully planned out during the loading process and, depending where and how pots are stacked in the kiln, fly ash and salt vapor finds its way to the pots surface in flashes of color or drips.