Carren Clarke, Potter

Carren Clarke is a potter in Richmond, Virginia. Working out of her Woodland Heights Studio, Carren creates wheel thrown vessels adorned with faces in relief.  Geometry, texture and color add to the story of each piece.

Carren Clarke

I begin with a vision and a few sketches.  I go to the studio and begin to knead, throw, slump and manipulate the North Carolina and Pennsylvania clays.  I enjoy working with clay because it is soft, supple, and pliable, and yet, resilient and strong.

I throw vessels on the wheel and create faces from the vision that inspired me.  I fine tune the piece with a sponge to smooth and texture the clay.  A dental tool helps me carve the geometry design to tell a story.  Creating a relief for depth and adding more clay for volume requires the clay to dry and cure for two weeks or longer.

The piece is fired at 2000 degrees in the kiln, followed by a cooling for two days.  A second fire, at 2300 degrees, allows the inclusion of color using oxides and glazes. The piece then cools for a two or more days.

Once the finial firing is completed and viewed, the piece receive a dry brush of pigment for more color.