Functional Stoneware Pottery

Floyd, Virginia On Etsy since 2016

Buyers are raving!

This shop got multiple 5-star reviews in the past 7 days.


Functional Stoneware Pottery

Floyd, Virginia | 613 Sales

Announcement    Thanks for visiting my Labor Day Weekend Mug Event . The shop has been restored to include all pots that I currently have in the studio. Look for updates soon. To see what's being made, and what is coming out of the kiln, follow me on Instagram @ellenshankin


Last updated on Sep 9, 2020

Thanks for visiting my Labor Day Weekend Mug Event . The shop has been restored to include all pots that I currently have in the studio. Look for updates soon. To see what's being made, and what is coming out of the kiln, follow me on Instagram @ellenshankin



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Ellen Shankin

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Ellen Shankin


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
See reviews that mention:
quality 10 shipping 58 customer service 9

About EllenShankinPottery

Sales 613
On Etsy since 2016

Every day I work at the wheel. Over and over again I focus my attention on the unruly clay and bring my mind and body together in an intention to center it and create forms filled with breath and energy. For more than 40 years I have found myself drawn to this effort, trying to make pots that possess strength and clarity. Throughout that time I have been able to wander along a path that regularly courses between inspiration and familiarity, passion and comfort.
Day in and day out, I make forms that please me, that honor the obsessions that have always driven my inquiries:
Line: how it moves around a piece, out of the rim and back into the body. 
Balance: how pots feel in the hand when lifted or poured. 
Tension: how clay moves in ways that speak of a vitality pushing at the seams.
Architecture, the organic structure of nature around me, particular feelings about color and light, and my sense of the relationship between form and use, play heavily in the instincts and decisions that go into making these pieces.
I am keenly aware that along with these pots I am creating the quality of my time. I am crafting a daily existence filled with meaning and reward. Along with pitchers and covered jars, I am constructing the very manner in which time passes. Hours go by following threads of interest, spending time with color, texture, volume and scale and watching the interaction of those elements unfold over and over again in an evolution of my work.
These feelings, which underpin my studio life, value the journey as well as the destination. This seems to be almost an anachronism today. But there it is. A truth I have lived and loved.


I learned to make pottery at the age of 13 and fell in love with clay. Four years later I studied with Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, a magnificent Australian potter, and through her found meaning and a grounded purpose in what she showed me of a potter’s life. She is surely the reason I actually became a potter. I began to pursue a host of ceramic experiences that culminated, many years later, with my going back to school. In 1976 I received a B.F.A. with honors from the N.Y. State School of Ceramics at Alfred. I then moved to the mountains of S.W. Virginia and have lived there, making pots, ever since.

A number of wonderful opportunities presented themselves over the years. I received a 1990 National Endowment Visual Arts Fellowship Grant, and a 2001 Virginia Museum Grant, which allowed me to travel, expand my studio, and make it possible for people to actually get down our long rural driveway to see my work.
I have exhibited my pottery nationally and have pieces in the collections of numerous Museums, including the International Museum of Ceramics at Alfred, The Mint Museum, The Crocker Museum, and The San Angelo Museum of Art. My work has appeared in many periodicals and books of Ceramic Art.

Living in a community of talented craftsmen, I became a founding member of “16 Hands” a regional craft tour that has brought fine handmade objects to the attention of the surrounding area. I have also served 6 years on the board of directors of “Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network” trying to affect whatever positive changes I can for the larger craft community in my state. Since 1992 I have pursued a growing interest in teaching workshops and have been a guest lecturer and instructor in more than 50 universities, art centers, and craft schools in the United States and Italy, Turkey and South America.

Shop members

  • Ellen Shankin


Shop policies

More information

Last updated on May 2, 2020
Frequently asked questions
What is the LOCALPICKUP Up discount?

Local customers can pick up their orders safely and receive a discount. If you enter this promo code "LOCALPICKUP" your work will not be shipped.

Here is how this will work:

1. Place your order, and use the code LOCALPICKUP at checkout to get your discount. This saves us the time and effort of packing and shipping the work to you.

2. You will be emailed (at the email address you've provided at checkout) to set up a time to pick up your order.

3. Your order will be placed on a table outside of the gallery on your pickup day so you can retrieve it without violating social distancing recommendations.

All orders must be picked up by the end of May.

Are these pots safe for food?

Absolutely. No lead is used.

Are the butter dishes meant only for round butter?

No. A stick of butter cut in half and both halves placed side by side fill the space beautifully.

What is the material in the night lights?

The night lights are made of stoneware clay with Mica covering the windows allowing for a heat resistant amber glow from the 4 watt bulb inside.

Why does the spout on the oil bottle come apart when I try to take it off?

You need to grab the rubber collar and not the metal spout to remove it. The pourer is meant to come apart so you can clean it. I soak the metal part in boiling water and place the rubber part in the dishwasher every few months.

How should I care for teapots?

Fill with hot tap water as you wait for the kettle to boil. Empty the hot water out. Place tea leaves in. SLOWLY fill with the boiling water.

Shipping costs seem high...why is that?

It has proven difficult to get accurate estimates for shipping. They are almost always higher than costs...especially when west of the Mississippi. The discrepancy is exaggerated when buying more than 1 piece. All over-charges for shipping will be instantly refunded as soon as the actual box is packed and weighed.

Why does your shop offer free shipping on some items and not on others?

I wish that I could offer free shipping on everything . However, the larger pieces, those over 1 cubic foot, take a dramatic rise in cost. There is a huge variation based on which part of the country it is shipped to. It felt impossible to absorb that cost.

General Care Instructions

All pots can take the heat of a normal oven (350* recommended ) and they need to be protected from heat shock. Place pieces in a cold oven and turn on. Remove to a draft free dry surface.

In the microwave: Heating up leftovers works just fine. And cooking foods also works. But do not place frozen items on ceramic plates as the quick change in temperature of the food as it cooks in the middle of the cold plate can crack it.

My pots love the dishwasher.