The Pinch Pot

The pottery I create is an art form of moving energy. I begin with prayer. The energy flow is further focused with singing, dancing and other ceremonial practices. I practice each form over and over again allowing the form to be fully realized.

I have been practicing the art and craft of the pinch pot for over 40 years. For over 10 years I lived in the woods in Alaska allowing for almost endless hours of communion with the clay and the wilderness where I lived on my homestead and Quietude Pottery had its start. Most of the pots that I create are made from a single ball of clay which I work for anywhere between four hours and one full day.

The ceremonial aspect of my pottery is inseparable from the craftsmanship that I have gained over these 40 years. Each form that I work with is the medicine, or wisdom of an animal spirit or other aspect of the natural world. In my experience the bear spirit is as natural and real as the physical bear encountered in the woods. And fortunately for me, the spirit bear is equally accessible in the wilderness of Alaska or the center of Tucson.

The term pinch pot simply means that I form the pot with my fingers and opposable thumbs while turning the clay around and around in my hands. This turning around and around has the effect if turning me into a human potter’s wheel. The slow stretching that occurs over these several hours creates a distinctive, very naturally occurring surface on the outside of the pot. The constant smoothing with my thumbs on the inside creates the buttery interior finish. The highly polished areas are burnished with a small rose quarts stone that I have been using for all of these 40 years. The palm of my right hand is responsible for allowing the form to emerge unhindered.