"My current body of work was born out of innocence and exploration—a departure from my previous work not only in form and materials, but also in content. My previous attempts to make order out of chaos have now made way for the manifestation of these simple and somehow emerging mythological creatures.
In acknowledgement of the continual ebb and flow of life, the coming and the going, my path is one of consistent study of life’s dualities and our constant struggle to find unity and peace within the conflicts of those dualities. . . Unity of purpose, unity of passion, and ultimately community." - Pam Brewer
East Fork Potteryis nestled at the end of a valley on an old tobacco field, between steep green mountains, thirty minutes northwest of Asheville, North Carolina. Founded in 2010 by Alexander Matisse, the workshop is now home to potter John Vigeland and a growing team of apprentices. Their objects are made entirely by hand, from North Carolina clay, in a dirt-floored workshop that smells of wood-smoke and pine. East Fork values old-world craftsmanship and an aesthetic quality unconstrained by time and place.
East Fork Guild, currently comprises John Vigeland and Alex Matisse. Larger, more decorative work is made under this banner in small runs or as one-offs. Though Matisse & Vigeland share materials and aesthetic values, you will find that each has their own distinctive style.
East Fork Line is simple and fundamental. Unadorned, the work is distilled to its essential elements: form and function. It is durable and timeless, resistant to fashion and trends.
Hunt and Dalglish
“We are really excited about making pottery. We love the way the texture of local clay is revealed on the foot of a bowl, and the way dark clay glows through a white slip under an amber ash glaze. We love the pattern made by the Korean paddle and anvil on a large Onggi jar, and the way this technique creates an almost exploding volume. The color variation in slips and glazes caused by the subtle changes of atmosphere in a wood kiln fascinates us. Historical folk pottery inspires both our pots and our way of working, we hope to continue the tradition of having beautiful things in our everyday lives.” - Naomi Dalglish & Michael Hunt
“To go where the wind blows each day. That is how my studio routine goes between clay, jewelry or metal work, whichever has my interest the strongest. I feel so very fortunate in that I love to be in the studio. There is not a shortage of ideas or interests.” - Lisa Joerling
“When I sit down at my wheel to make pots, I think about how they will be used. Will this bowl be the right form for black bean chili? Is this pitcher best for sweet tea or maybe just ice water? How will cherry tomatoes look presented in my pottery? It is exciting to me that I may create something as intimate as the cup for your hot chocolate.
When I think about how I will glaze the pots, I often imagine my decorations as dressing the ware. Where I will put dots, where I will lay lines. How will the pattern wrap itself around the pot?
After the pots are all “gussied up”, I load them into the kiln. I love contemplating the flames circling the pottery, and placing the pots where they need to be so that the finished ware looks and feels desirable. My aim is to make pots with integrity, which continue to be sweet and joyful.” - Courtney Martin
“Most potters my age have learned their craft in schools or institutions and our connection to the historical/traditional potters is less evident. Thus, to find one’s way and to make one’s “own” work is truly a struggle. I am after the discovery of my pots, my place, my language, in this rich continuum of clay history. I am concerned with living, moving forward. The act of daily work at the wheel, kiln, etc., is for me the same as a mechanic, a doctor, or a teacher. It is a life lived. The warmth and energy gained from daily struggles, triumph, success and failures, allows me to create pots that are alive, and full of humility.
Wood firing for me is the most direct way to finish the work. There is an element of chance once the kiln is loaded. The pots are loaded into the kiln and separated from shelves and each other with bits of clay called wadding. You can see the marks lefton the bottoms of the work. The kiln is fired with scrap wood that would otherwise be buried or burned. The ash from the burning wood settles on the pots creating a natural ash glaze.” - Shane Mickey
Ronan K. Peterson
Ronan Kyle Peterson is known for his richly detail works in clay, with pattern and colors that enhance his thoughtfully created forms. All his work, both functional and the more sculptural carry his signature style, detailed patterns and joyful energy, and are always in demand by dedicated and new collectors. Ronan’s design inspiration is drawn from processes of growth and decay in the natural world and translated into what he describes as a ceramic comic book interpretation of both real and imagined phenomena.
“Simply said, I love to make things. Pottery reflects my need to make objects that are both functional and beautiful. I want to make pots for people to use in everyday life. Drinking coffee out of a handmade mug every day is a rewarding experience that I want to help others find. I get inspiration from thinking through how each piece might be used and held. The process of throwing and forming functional pieces–while getting covered with clay–is one of my greatest joys. I love the entire process: shaping, decorating, glazing, and firing. There is always more to learn and more techniques to try. I am experimenting with textures and other decorative aspects of pottery. Much of my inspiration comes from nature and ideas that are centered in life. I look at the tree as a representation of experience and growth, the roots of a tree as they give support and nutrients, the leaves as a vision of life and its cycles." - Teresa Pietsch
Andrew Stephenson creates functional and large scale decorative works in clay. His work is informed by his love of the folk pottery of England, his formal arts education, and a two year apprenticeship with a NC potter. He has a wide appreciation and knowledge of the rich traditions and techniques of traditional NC potters, this background informs many of his own artistic decisions.
His work is distinguished by graceful thrown forms, and skilled attention to function and decoration. Rich glazes often incorporate glass accents added before the wood firings.
"My recent pieces have evolved from an exploration of the textural tool marks in my thrown work to a growing interest in the larger scale markings of the landscape. I first looked at the domestic tilling of the soil and the way patterns occur. I found a certain beauty in the way orderly rows would follow the natural contours of the mountainside. Next I began thinking about marks and textures that also reveal a sense of order but come from natural occurrences. The level horizon line left from a swollen river, the changes due to tide or erosion. These etchings of the earth become a type of clock or calendars that is free from numerical order but gives a much stronger sensation of time and place." - Lisa Stinson
Tim Turner Clay
"I started my clay adventure at Appalachian State University in the mid 70's, moving on to Penland, NC where I met and worked with some remarkable artists and craftspeople. In the early 80's I moved backed to the Boone/Banner Elk area in the northwest corner of North Carolina where I set up a studio and produced pots for over twenty years. In 1996 after the Watauga River had washed through my studio for the third time I decide to take a hiatus from pots and concentrate on painting, which I had also been doing in my "spare" time and could easily be done on higher ground. Eleven years later I had an opportunity to get my hands dirty again thinking I'd just play around a bit but caught the clay bug again.
I now maintain a clay studio and a separate painting studio, and divide my time between the two.
My goal is to produce strong, simple forms with minimal decoration.
The majority of my work is made from high fired stoneware and fired in a gas kiln to 2345 degrees. Glazed with shino glazes, patterns are drawn with wax then a final glaze sprayed over. Pots are made for daily use, food, microwave and oven safe." - Tim Turner