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.

Doc Welty

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.