Doc Welty, Potter
Doc Welty, Potter in Leicester, North Carolina, creates handmade functional stoneware, garden and landscape ceramic pieces along with decorative terra cotta tiles.
Pottery has always been something I have had the constant desire to do. In 1973 I built a kick wheel and a few tools and set up a small studio in Broad Ripple, Indiana. It didn’t take long before the spark of interest began to burn and I knew that pottery would be a passion that would stay with me.
After moving to Whitestown, Indiana in 1976 I opened Woodsman Pottery. Functional stoneware was the main dish, fired in a small oil fired catenary arch kiln. Experimentation with a small wood kiln revealed the added potential of wood ash and flames on the ware. While working part time at Conner Prairie, a living history museum near Nobelsville, Indiana I came to appreciate the rich surface effects achieved using a wood and salt fired groundhog kiln. In 1983 I opened Log Creek Pottery in Paoli, Indiana continuing the functional pottery tradition. It was here that I began work in sculptural terra cotta tile work. The pottery was fired in a gas downdraft or wood crossdraft kilns.
Relocating to Leicester, North Carolina in 2004, I built my studio and used my handmade terra cotta tile work on the exterior to serve as a sample of architectural clay possibilities. A range of functional stoneware, garden and landscape ceramic pieces, as well as decorative tiles fill my days with creative possibilities as I continue my pursuit of handmade pottery.
I am driven to create and clay is my medium of choice. Tradition is my inspiration and anchor to past generations of potters and also a point of departure that influences my current work.
Having the opportunity to create and follow my bliss in the studio is a true blessing. When a piece of pottery can give the user a measure of satisfaction similar to the joy experienced when it was created the circle is complete.