Falling Leaf Pottery
I grew up in Georgia and North Carolina, where my first encounters with clay were with native clays, which my sisters and I dug from creek banks to make tea sets and small animal sculptures.
My formal ceramics studies began at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where I studied hand-building, potter’s wheel and glaze chemistry, continuing to work with Georgia red clay. I then worked and taught pottery classes in a Charlottesville, Virginia studio for four years.
In 1977, I completed a BFA degree in ceramics at Augusta College, Augusta, Georgia, working with stoneware and porcelain clays and salt firing kilns. In 1980, I completed an MFA degree in Ceramics at University of North Texas, Denton, working with sculpture, pottery, smoke firing and wood firing kilns.
While teaching full time for many years, I continued my own artistic work in clay, cycling back and forth between functional pottery and sculpture. In 2009, I retired from 27 years of teaching ceramics at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire.
My new studio at home (completed in 2009) accommodates my expanded pursuit of the functional forms of pottery in stoneware and porcelain. I make my own glazes and fire the glazed work in a gas-fired kiln.
What has always attracted me to functional pottery is that it is made by hands, and it is made to be touched and used by human hands. I enjoy that the forms are ‘purposeful,’ and I want them to be inviting to handle and successful and satisfying to use. While the forms need to be strong to be functional, I want them to have an original spirit, with glaze and textural elements adding color and visual interest.
A wider selection of my pottery is available year round at Artistic Roots, an artisans’ co-op in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
The Falling Leaf Pottery kiln is a propane-fired downdraft kiln. The glaze firing temperature for the stoneware and porcelain pottery is approximately 2300 degrees F. Each glaze firing takes about 14 hours to reach temperature, and is then cooled for 36 hours before the kiln is opened. The kiln is fired 5 times a year. Out of stock items will be scheduled for the next available kiln.
–Sue Bennett Tucker, Falling Leaf Pottery
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