Shawn Ireland Pottery
I make pots with food, flowers and candles in mind. I choose to make these pots with a foundation in folk tradition. For me, this involves using a variety of hand processed local clays and glaze materials, single firing in a wood burning kiln, and using a kick wheel. These ingredients promote surprises and keep my craft connected to the natural world.
The clay I mix by hand is a blend of ingredients from North Carolina and Georgia. Thirty percent of the body is local red earthenware. The nontoxic glazes, which melt at 2300 degrees, are composed primarily of these local ingredients: feldspar, silica, red clay, kaolin and ash from my woodstove. Other more processed materials are mixed with these.
The pots are fired in a two chambered kiln fueled with wood which is salvaged from burn piles at a nearby sawmill. The combination of wood flame and ash, which melts into the clay and glaze, can produce colors and surfaces reminiscent of objects found in nature. Like these objects, wood fired pots can look similar to each other but never identical. This unpredictability and variation makes every kiln load a new opportunity to explore.
1990-1995 Attended 25 pottery and painting workshops at Penland School of Crafts.
In 1991, after a two month workshop with Will Ruggles & Douglass Rankin, I fell in love with clay and fire and was determined to be a wood fire potter.
1993-1995 lived at Penland as part of the CORE STUDENT work exchange program.
1996-1999 RESIDENT ARTIST at Penland School of Crafts.
1997 Established Shawn Ireland Pottery.
since 1994 Participated in numerous National Exhibitions & Craft Shows including Mint Museum Potters Market-NC, Smithsonian Craft Show, Philadelphia Museum Craft Show, Spruce Pine Potters Market-NC & Demarest Show-NJ.
2006-2008 VISITING ARTIST INTERNSHIP: University of Georgia
2012 & 2013 STUDIO COORDINATOR: University of Georgia, Cortona, Italy.
2015 Resident Artist Coordinator: Scuola Internazionale di Grafica. Venice, Italy.
The Pottery Showroom and Studio are open daily 10-5
Paintings are available to view by appointment. Email me.
EVENTS for 2015
We are currently living in Venice, Italy for a 3 month painting Residency at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Back to pottery in April.