Ann Grotjan Pottery

Ann at wheel Ann begins with stoneware clay that she forms by hand or throws on a potters’ wheel.  Once the piece is made, she often uses elements from nature to decorate the piece, using a variety of techniques. One technique is to carve animals or plants into the surface of the wet clay. This is done with sgraffito tools, dissecting needles and other tools. Lizards, frogs, trees and jack-in-the pulpits are favorite choices. Another technique is to use actual leaves or flowers rolled into the surface of the still moist clay. Ann especially loves leaves that are heavily veined or hairy. Hand sculpting, altering, and sprigging of clay elements onto the wheel-thrown pieces are additional methods Ann uses on much of her work.

Ann GrotjanAfter the pieces are decorated, they are slowly dried. Ann fires her pieces two times. The pottery is first bisque fired. After cooling, the pieces are ready for glazing. This is done by dipping, pouring or brushing. The carved or impressed elements are often wiped free of surrounding glaze, resulting in a contrast between the unglazed clay and the glazed designs. At this point the pottery is glaze fired to its maturing point of 2200 degrees farenheit.

Some of Ann’s pottery is made with a specific function in mind while others are purely decorative or sculptural. Either way she tries to incorporate the beauty of nature in her work so others can appreciate that beauty as they use her pieces.