Welcome to Cleland Pottery

Isidore's-EagleI have always been creative, from my earliest childhood memories. I fell in love with clay when I was fourteen years old. Until that time I expected I would become an illustrator or painter. And so I suppose it was only natural that as I developed as a potter I began to paint on the raw clay. I love animals and natural things and draw inspiration from nature. I use a fine stoneware clay and throw it like porcelain – very smooth and thrown thin. The natural color of the clay body is a perfect canvas for the engobes and stains I use for painting. I decorate the pot when it is “leather hard”, and incise before it dries to add greater detail and depth to the design – it truly becomes part of the pot in the final firing. I prefer to create functional pottery that is a joy to use every day.

My high fired stoneware is formed by hand on the potter’s wheel in the age-old tradition of the potter. It is then trimmed and dried leather-hard before I decorate with freehand drawings using oxides or colored clay slips. My drawings are a mix of nature, wildlife, and fantasy creatures, and allow me to combine two of my favorite art forms – two dimensional drawing and three dimensional clay sculpture. The first firing, to the bisque stage, allows the pot to be handled for glazing, and produces a porous surface so that the glazes and stains will form a bond with the clay when they are applied. The final kiln firing, which exceeds 2000 F, matures the clay to the stoneware stage. I intend for my pottery to be useful, as well as a joy to look at and touch. Each piece is a unique and individual creation