Welcome to my website! You'll find several things here: a story about how I caught the clay bug, a gallery of my pots, a blog, a gallery of ceramics from museums I've visited, and an annotated list of resources I've found most helpful. If you're looking for my photos, I've moved them to their own website: www.jonrawlingsphotography.com
This is primarily an educational site which I hope will inform and inspire potters, especially those who are new to the craft. For instance, the gallery starts with some of the earliest pots I made and continues up to the present so you can find out more information about how I made them, glazed them, and fired them. I hope you'll come back often to see what's new, that my site will encourage you to "keep practicing" (as Simon Leach likes to say), and that it will help you along in your growth as a potter. There's still so much for all of us to learn!
I started making pottery in 2012. If you had asked me at the beginning why I wanted to make pots, I'd have said that I want to make beautiful things. I wouldn't say that anymore. Now I'd say that I want to make engaging things, pots that have presence and draw your attention to them, pots that aren't merely pretty but intrigue you even if only for a moment.
Nature has taught me a great deal and I've tried to stay attentive to her. Trees have been important to my designs as well as rocks such as geodes and nodules. The sea has also inspired me, and things like corals, sponges, even sea slugs have shaped my forms.
I like playing with contrasts. For instance, I might shape the body of a piece as symmetrically as I can with a surface as smooth as I can make it. Then I put a handbuilt rim on the top that's been pinched out in an irregular way. I think these contrasts add interest to the piece and make it more engaging. The design can't all be taken in at a glance but keeps giving you more the more you look at it.
Since becoming a potter I've been exposed to the work of excellent potters from all parts of the globe from ancient times to the present. They inspire me, intimidate me, even discourage me at times because they're so good. Their work challenges me to experiment, to take chances, and to risk failure in order to grow.