Marie Wright's Profile

About

Becoming a crystalline glaze potter started for me in Junior College when I took my first ceramics class. In the school display case, I saw my first crystalline glazed piece, and I was just floored by it – I wanted to learn how to do that more than anything. Naturally I asked my teacher, and then a few of the advanced students to explain, and I got the same answer from all of them: It’s a complicated process – too hard for you. Don’t bother trying.

I took two semesters of ceramics in college, and then went on to do all of the things that good kids do – I got the degree that I wanted in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and then met my goal of getting a good job as a research scientist. All throughout this process, though, I missed the ceramics classes and I never forgot that lovely crystalline piece and the unsatisfactory answer I got when I tried to learn the process…

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  • Female
  • Born on November 9
  • Joined July 21, 2010

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About

Becoming a crystalline glaze potter started for me in Junior College when I took my first ceramics class. In the school display case, I saw my first crystalline glazed piece, and I was just floored by it – I wanted to learn how to do that more than anything. Naturally I asked my teacher, and then a few of the advanced students to explain, and I got the same answer from all of them: It’s a complicated process – too hard for you. Don’t bother trying.

I took two semesters of ceramics in college, and then went on to do all of the things that good kids do – I got the degree that I wanted in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and then met my goal of getting a good job as a research scientist. All throughout this process, though, I missed the ceramics classes and I never forgot that lovely crystalline piece and the unsatisfactory answer I got when I tried to learn the process.

Fresh out of college, childless, and with a bit of time on my hands I decided to get back on the pottery wheel. It was wonderful – just how I remembered it. And I thought to myself: Marie - you’re a chemist now – surely you can figure out those difficult and beautiful glazes. Well - it turned out that I was right!

Luckily for me – there are enough publications about the tricks to making these fabulous glazes that I was able to piece the puzzle together relatively quickly and get started making these beautiful glazes. It was true what they said though – the process of making these pieces is far more difficult and the firing process is extremely finicky compared to “regular pottery.” And unfortunately, it’s also true that the failure rate is much higher when this is your chosen art form.

Funnily enough though – the failed pieces don’t bother me much when they greet me from my kiln. They seem like a small price to pay to gain the ability to make the pieces that I really love. I just hope that my customers get as much enjoyment out of owning my pottery as I got out of making each piece!

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