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Boulder, CO

Handmade ceramics for the table and home, intended to use and enjoy. Made in Boulder Colorado. 

 

Studio and Process

Studio and Process

AWK Clayworks is located in Boulder, Co., where Alyssa shares a cooperative studio called Centercraft with 9 other full-time artists.  The studio is tucked away in a rural and scenic location, reminiscent of a secret garden.  This little oasis is ideal for productivity, and artistic community. Though each artist has private studio space to work and focus, the members of Centercraft are able to indulge in the supportive and insightful environment.  

Her work is entirely handmade. Utilizing a variety of techniques, most of the pottery she makes is either thrown on the potters wheel or hand-built with flat slabs of clay.  Once the pieces are formed, they are decorated with a 16th century Korean technique called mishima. By using a technique which is hundreds of years old, Alyssa combines a historical reference with contemporary minimal design. 

Mishima is an inlay technique, where the soft clay is hand etched with patterns and images.  Once the design has been scratched into the soft clay, Alyssa applies black slip to the surface.  The black slip fills in the etched pattern, then the slip is scraped off the surface of the piece, leaving the pattern behind. 

Once the pottery is completely dry, it is fired once to 1944ºF.  After this first firing, the pieces are finished with glazes Alyssa mixes from scratch (She jokes that this process is like following a recipe for soup but with inedible chemicals - which turn into a food safe surface when fired).  After the glazes are applied, the pottery is fired again to 2232ºF to make them ultimately durable.  This last firing turns the glaze from a powdery coating to a hard glassy surface, which is food safe and ready to be used and enjoyed.

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