Jenny Gulch Pottery

125 Sales


Jenny Gulch Pottery

125 Sales On Etsy since 2008

0 out of 5 stars

Announcement   Welcome to Jenny Gulch Arts! I love making things; 3-D things like pottery, 2-D things like paintings and drawings, and Imaginational things like poetry and prose. We were created to create and to enjoy one another's creativity. I hope my works will be a blessing in your life and brighten up your days as you use and/or look at them.

All my pottery is free of lead, dishwasher and food safe, and food service items can be used in the microwave -- so long as you use hot pads to remove them.


Welcome to Jenny Gulch Arts! I love making things; 3-D things like pottery, 2-D things like paintings and drawings, and Imaginational things like poetry and prose. We were created to create and to enjoy one another's creativity. I hope my works will be a blessing in your life and brighten up your days as you use and/or look at them.

All my pottery is free of lead, dishwasher and food safe, and food service items can be used in the microwave -- so long as you use hot pads to remove them.

Cindy Skillman

Contact shop owner

Cindy Skillman


No reviews in the last year

wordsthaticansee on May 12, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

With love sprinkled throughout, "evening and morning" reveals to me the beauty and mystery found within the spirit. As I focus on this art I am speechless and without words to do it justice. When I look at the heavens I am filled with awestruck wonder. The same goes for "evening and morning". Thank you Cindy. It's comforting and a joy to have this wonderful work of art.


emzumstein on Jan 16, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

This is a very cute small bowl and we are using it for a ring holder. I would recommend this artist.

Amy Whipple

Amy Whipple on Jan 7, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

Loved this piece of pottery. It was the perfect Christmas gift. Received it promptly and it was packaged carefully. Masterpiece.

View all 44 reviews

Shop policies

Last updated on May 10, 2012
Welcome to Jenny Gulch Pottery!

Many people are curious as to what goes into making a piece of pottery, so I wrote up a little synopsis for you on the conception, gestation, and birth of a new piece of stoneware. I promise this is the only place I'll be so long-winded, so if you're not that interested, just skip this bit.

Jenny Gulch Pottery is handmade a couple of miles from Silver City, SD in the heart of the Black Hills. Most of my line is wheel thrown, then altered in some way after removing it from the wheel. Sometimes this means pulling a handle and carving the walls or adding a relief decoration. Sometimes it means manipulating the walls and adding clay to form a sculptural piece, such as a face pot.

I also enjoy using my extruder, which is a fairly modern clay tool. If you've ever used a Playdough machine--the one where you push down the lever, and clay coils in the shape of stars, squares, etc. come out--you've used an extruder. The big kid kind is a bit more expensive, but it does more stuff, like extruding hollow forms. I love to twist them and carve them and stick them together to make new forms.

Sometimes I sculpt a piece completely by hand. Such is the case with my whistles and other statuary. There's so much more freedom for the imagination in handbuilding, though wheel throwing and altering can be quite creative as well.

Once I'm satisfied with the form of the piece, I allow it to dry slowly. When absolutely dry, I load up the kiln and "candle" it for several hours at a temperature below boiling to dissipate atmospheric water. In some cases, this moisture can cause pots to explode in the kiln when it suddenly "flashes" into steam. Following this, I fire at a gentle pace up to the temperature at which chemically combined water is exhausted. After this point, the kiln can be rapidly fired up to the "bisque ware" temperature. When the kiln has cooled, the pottery is hard, but still absorbent. It's ready to be glazed.

For quality's sake, I mix up all of my own glazes from scratch using combinations of minerals such as clays, silica, feldspars, metals, frits, and other ingredients. (I do not use lead in any form.) It's difficult to find commercially manufactured glazes that truly "fit" one's clay. In my experience, most of them craze, or form a matrix of tiny cracks after cooling. This can be decorative, but it weakens the pot and allows staining.

I glaze most of my pieces by dipping them into five gallon buckets of glaze. The glaze must then be carefully wiped off the bottoms of the pots. At the temperatures I fire to, the glaze melts in the kiln and will fuse the pot to the kiln shelf if it is in contact with it. Some of my pots have unglazed areas, most of which are covered with an iron oxide wash. If I wish to leave an unglazed portion in the midst of a field of glaze, I must paint it with wax to keep the glaze from sticking to it, as the glaze is difficult to wipe off such areas. Glazing can be tricky. The glaze must be thick enough to impart the desired color, but not so thick that it cracks or bubbles or flows off the pot during firing.

Once glazed, the pots are ready for their final firing--much hotter than the bisque firing--up to 2232 degrees Fahrenheit. At the peak temperature, the inside of the kiln glows pale yellow and looks like my mental picture of the inside of an active volcano.

The heating phase of the glaze firing is simple . . . just turn everything to high and go for it. Toward the end, I slow the kiln down and take about an hour to navigate the last 50 degrees. This allows the glaze ingredients to mingle and marry, and greatly enhances the character of the finished glaze. Some glazes respond well to a slow cool, some don't care, and some are adversely affected, so you have to be careful which glazes you've got in the kiln and give them all what they need to reach their greatest potential. My kilns are equipped to "fire down", which gives me the ability to control the rate of cooling for the best possible result.

The kiln takes around 24 hours to cool, more or less. Opening it is exciting and a little bit scary. Did I gauge the thickness of my glazes well? Has it over or under fired? Sometimes it's awful; sometimes it's magical. You just never know. Usually I've messed up a piece or three, but everything else is fine. That's a good firing.

The pottery now has to be sanded so it won't scratch your furniture. I just use ordinary sandpaper around 100 grit or whatever I have on hand, then I rub it against my face to see if I've missed any sharp bits. And that's pretty much the whole story. It's ready to be photographed now and offered to you on Etsy. Any piece of pottery is really only finished when it finds a home with someone who enjoys it.

Accepted payment methods

  • Accepts Etsy gift cards
I accept Paypal. Payment is due when you make your purchase.
I will ship via USPS within three business days of receiving your order. If you need your item faster, let me know and we'll work something out.

I do ship to non-USA locations, however you'll need to contact me so I can calculate the shipping cost for you. I'll charge you my actual cost plus a packing fee, which will vary depending on what you order. Should the final fee be higher than you like, you can change your mind -- no hard feelings.
Refunds and Exchanges
If any of your items arrive damaged, let me know right away (five days is the limit). You can send a photo--no need to return broken pottery. I'll either refund your money or exchange for an item you're happy with.

If the item I send you has some flaw I've missed, and that is not apparent in the photographs I've posted, I'll refund your money on return of the item or send a replacement.

Some of my items do have minor flaws, and I've been careful to include photographs that show these. In most cases, these items have been priced lower because of the imperfections. Please examine the photographs carefully to assess whether you will be satisfied with a piece despite any blemishes it may have.

Glazes are variable and difficult to show with accuracy (especially colors) on a computer monitor. I've done my best to accurately represent my pottery so you know what you're buying, but your computer monitor will most likely show a slightly different color than mine does. If I accidentally sent you a blue pot when you ordered a brown one, of course I'll replace it, but if the blue pot you received doesn't perfectly match the blue color in the on-line store, I can't offer a refund for that as I have no control over it.

Inconsistencies in color and texture are artifacts of the hand making process and add that one of a kind character to your piece. They do not constitute flaws, and are not grounds for requesting a refund or an exchange.
Additional policies and FAQs
All custom orders must be paid half in advance and half when they are ready to ship. Custom orders are not refundable unless they arrive broken, and then only the broken pieces will be refunded or replaced.

I cannot formulate a glaze to match your existing pottery, your curtains, or your living room rug. I'm not trying to be a smart aleck here--it's just not something that can reasonably be done. Sometimes it can't be done at all, by me or anyone else. Glaze is very different from paint or dye.

Glazes will also come out differently from one kiln load to the next, and of course, all computer monitors do not show the same colors, so the colors you see in your on-screen photographs are only approximations of the actual pottery.

If we agree on a custom order, I'll send you a written proposal to sign so everything is up front and agreed upon by both of us. Please understand, I'm going to need at least four weeks for even a very small order unless it's something I happen to have on hand, so do plan ahead.