Zan Barnes, Potter

Zan Barnes is a potter in Dillsboro, North Carolina.  In her Riverwood Pottery studio, she creates soda fired functional pottery.

Zan creates marks and texture through soda firing on her wheel thrown vessels.  Each mug, tumbler, pitcher, vase and bottle is created with thought for the balance of the piece.  The result is pottery that feels good in the hand and becomes much loved with everyday use.

  • Media:
    Clay, Ceramics
  • Website:
  • Phone:
    336-402-3842
  • Address:
    Dillsboro, NC

Zan Barnes

Pottery is very much about the physical interaction with the ceramic object, the balance of a piece in the hand, subtle texture over the surface and how the hand will find and experience these areas in a very direct way.

Soda firing is a technique where soda ash is dissolved in water and sprayed directly into the kiln while firing.  The soda boils away into vapor and bonds with the clay to form a glaze on the surface.  This innate mark making that the kiln creates has led me to a very organic collaboration with the kiln itself.

I am interested in how the regimented linear geometric patterns and the repetition of my stamps contrast with and accentuate the curves of the thrown form as well as the organic shapes left by the caress of the soda vapor.

I am also delighted by the negative space created by offsetting the patterning so it locks together and creates a dynamic parallel of the pattern in the negative space between rows.