Woodfired Cup

Ceramic

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Zac Spates

I strive to make simple, well thrown pottery with complex wood fired surfaces.

My work is a result of several years of experience working in two wood fire potter’s studios. Working with two very different pottery makers, my work developed into a combination of tight forms with loose, organic finishes.  The forms are all thrown and then altered right before I take the pot off the wheel.  I make mostly functional work thrown on a kick wheel.

All my work is fired in the labor intensive process of wood firing. My forms are kept simple to allow the way I fire to decorate the pots’ surface.

Decoration is minimal, leaving the surface to be etched and blushed by the flame’s movement throughout the kiln.  The way the pots are stacked in the kiln is more important to my pottery’s surface than the individual pieces by themselves.  I use simple glazes, if any, and slip most of my pots with clay that I dug and refined from quarries in Central Minnesota.

My pottery is always changing in both the way I fire and the forms themselves.  I continue to modify the way I fire my pottery and utilize each form to its full potential in the wood kiln.  Through my forms, I can fully express my way of wood firing through simple pots and challenging surfaces.


Available Work


6858 Paoli Road • Paoli, Wisconsin 53508 • 608-845-6600 • Located just southwest of Madison