Deborah Wilson, from Waterport, NY, makes her pottery by hand from stoneware clay. The pieces are thrown on a wheel or constructed from slabs. The glazes she uses are non-toxic and durable (dishwasher, microwave and oven safe). Her pieces are meant for functional, everyday use, and their fun, vibrant colors make them even more enjoyable. Deborah likes to find inspiration for her designs from nature.
What is your favorite part about creating pottery?
DW: “My two favorite stages of the process are the actual forming, where I get to interact with clay; after 25 years I’ve never lost my love for this wonderful, infinitely malleable, expressive material. The other part I love is opening a warm kiln full of glaze fired pots and seeing how the pieces were transformed in the firing process.”
What do you enjoy about being an artisan in WNY?
DW: “I enjoy living and working in a more relaxed semi-rural environment after many years of being a city potter. There’s a great appreciation of handmade work in this community. There aren’t many other potters locally, so I enjoy being able to teach the craft to students who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity.”
Is there a particular thing that inspires your work?
DW: “Most of my pottery is designed to be used for a practical purpose. I’m striving for a good combination of functionality and beauty in my pieces. I’m inspired by the colors and forms of nature. I love the subtle variations and “happy accidents” that can happen with glazes.”
Thank you, Deborah, for sharing your art and your process with us!
By Jessica Young and Stacey Kirby