Daniel Johnston, Potter

Daniel is a Seagrove, NC potter, known for his wood fired pottery, handmade stoneware, contemporary folk art and tableware sets.  Digging his own clay, working it until it’s “throwable” and turning it into functional and beautiful vessels, Daniel’s pots have a powerful presence.  Each one is timeless while reflecting the culture and times of the day.

Daniel Johnston

I dig most of the materials I use to make and glaze my pots. My pots are fired in a large 850 cubic ft wood kiln. I enjoy the hard work and it leaves no part of the process separated from me.

I do not try to control my materials, rather I try to understand them. From digging the clay to firing the kiln, I put all my effort into creating pots that have a powerful presence. It is important to me to create pots that are timeless but reflect the culture and times in which I live.

I use local clay to make all of my pots. The refining process is labor intensive but the simplicity of mining clay and transforming it into useful and beautiful objects is greatly rewarding. The local clay culturally offers a connection to the many potters that dug clay in the Seagrove area before me. The variation and inconsistency of minimally refined clay gives a richness and beauty to the pots.

The glaze I use is a combination of wood ash from my wood stove, a local red earthenware clay, and a local stoneware clay. The idea of using wood ash and clay to create a glaze is several thousand years old. Different proportions of these two remarkable materials can give you a wide range of amazing results. These two seemingly simple materials have produced glazes throughout time that are unparalleled in diversity and beauty.