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Hi, I’m Sharon of Hurricane Pottery. Along with my husband, Louis, I make pottery. Our work is mostly mid-fire stoneware, hand thrown on the pottery wheel, but we also enjoy raku and porcelain work. We work in a studio at our home. Louis still works at a full time job, so I do most of the throwing. Louis, however, mixes our glazes, using recipes shared from other potters, tweaking them as needed to suit our firing schedule and clay bodies.
I was introduced to making and creating by my mother who was always busy making and creating herself. One of my earliest memories is making mudpies in my backyard. Mom’s good garden soil did not lend itself to very good pies… not enough clay. My mother taught me several of the needle arts: I learned to crochet and make granny squares; I learned to embroider, cross stitch, needlepoint and crewel. I took sewing lessons and learned how to make my own clothes. My mother always had a variety of crafting supplies available, and every fall, we (mom, my sisters, and I) would sit around the dining room table and make Christmas ornaments from ribbon, beads, sequins and other trims. My mother was also an artist; she began working with acrylic, but then learned how to do very fine china painting. Her exquisite work required 6 to 8 firings as she built up layers of color to create depth in her designs. Having a kiln at the house was a bonus. I learned to hand build and made ceramic ornaments and pendants, which I gave as gifts.
Later I studied sculpting, hand building, and throwing on the wheel in college at LSU. I loved the sensation of the clay as it slipped between my fingers. Although a psychology major, I knew I wanted to be a potter, too. My husband was a Fine Arts major, and always had a creative, but analytical spirit. After the stressful period following Hurricane Katrina, my husband encouraged me to begin throwing again. So, he and our sons bought me a potter’s wheel and a kiln. Throwing pottery is so rewarding, I had to share it; I taught them all to throw.
One of our favorite family activities is doing raku firings. Sitting together on a chilly night waiting for the pieces to reach temperature in the raku kiln is a special time, but the real excitement begins when the pieces are removed from the kiln and placed in the combustible material. And then there’s the ultimate moment when the pieces are removed from the ashes and we scrub them to see what glorious colors will appear on the surface. It’s a magical time.
I love working with clay and enjoy sharing it with others. I particularly enjoy teaching children. My daughter learned to throw when she was 7, although I find that most children do better when they are a little older. (Louis designed some modifications to the wheel that allow the young people to have more stability when centering the clay!) Since I spent over 25 years working with children as a school psychologist, helping them to express themselves in clay just seems to be a natural extension.
When asked what is my favorite thing about Louisiana, I can’t name just one thing. I love the moodiness of the swamps and the trees draped in moss. I love that winter is short and that flowers bloom almost year round. I love that people are genuinely friendly and take time to help each other. Our HandmadeLouisiana Team is a great example of the wonderful people here. I also love that almost anything can be an occasion for a party. But I guess most of all, I love the French Cajun, Creole, and Italian influences on food. I love seafood best of all, and there’s no place like the gulf coast for good, fresh seafood.
Hurricane Pottery would like to offer a coupon for a free small spoon rest (made to order) or $7 off any other item (not including shipping). (For followers of Handmade LA only- if you aren't a follower of Handmade LA- follow us)! Thanks!
In order to win the spoon rest or get your discount, follow Hurricane Pottery's BLOG, & visit her shop to tell us your favorite item by commenting below! Please leave your email address incase you are the winner so that we can contact you! Winner will be announced on next week's post.
Then email membership[at]handmadelouisiana [dot]com and she'll help you get started! We welcome all handmade artisans, LOCAL small business owners, local musicians (even if they've since moved), and displaced residents.
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Please contact amy[at]handmadelouisiana [dot]com if you are a LOCAL musician who has information for us to share or you'd like a musician review done.