Pottery by Nan Rothwell


Functional Stoneware Pottery

Pottery Classes and Workshops

My pots are made to be used — to enhance the rituals of preparing and eating food, to hold flowers, to light a corner for reading. Making functional work connects me to the age-old tradition of artist craftsmen who make beautiful objects for daily use.

I‘ve been potting since 1969, yet after all these years, I still enjoy every aspect of making pottery, especially throwing and firing.  The alchemy of transforming soft clay into finished pots continues to excite and inspire me.

I offer classes and workshops at City Clay in Charlottesville, Virginia and at a variety of conferences and craft schools. I also teach an online course through TeachinArt.com.  I had some wonderful teachers when I was first learning to pot, and teaching allows me to pass the favor on. Drop me a line if you want to know my current teaching schedule.

New work for April McGuffey Show

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My sister in law, Junko Ono Rothwell, and will have a joint show of paintings and pots in the Main Gallery at McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville during April.  Today I fired the third of four firings of work toward that show.  Here are some images of the second firing:

That’s the front tier of the kiln, just before I unloaded it.  Here’s the back tier:

And here are two images of paintings Junko has sent for our joint show:

That one is titled “North End of the Island”.  The next is called “Resting”

The show opens Tuesday, April 3 and runs through Sunday, April 29.  There is information about McGuffey at www.McGuffeyArtCenter.com


John C Campbell Folk School

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Had a great week at the Folk School, which is in Brasstown, NC.  It’s a wonderful place – like camp for grownups (only with good food and comfortable beds).  Our group this week was fun to work with and everyone made real progress.  Here is their end-of-week exhibit:

Join us Saturday for pottery demos at Clayworks in Richmond, Virginia

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Here is a recent post from Scott Campbell at Clayworks:

The Clayworks Open House is a week away!! Andrea Keys Connell, Nan Rothwell, Al Pellenberg & Gina Pisto will be demonstrating from 10 am until 5 pm in the back warehouse. Al will be leaving around 1 pm and Gina will be jumping into his spot. So there will be three artists working simultaneously throughout the day. The back and forth interaction between the artists has always been one of the highlights of the Open House. And it gives each artist time in and out of the spotlight. Diana Faris of AMACO will also be in the front showroom demonstrating decorating techniques and showcasing new products – notably the new additions to the AMACO Celadon line. There will be chairs and food and the Goatacado food truck out front. So stay as long as you wish! There is no set schedule – just crazy fun all day! We look forward to seeing everyone next Saturday!

I just posted my 2018 Winter/Spring Teaching Schedule

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Over the next few months, I will be teach several workshops in Virginia and North Carolina, plus online through TeachinArt.com.  There is a schedule of the hands-on workshops HERE on this website.  I will also be teaching regular weekly classes at City Clay in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Registration for those classes is at the City Clay website.

Pop-up Show on Saturday, December 2

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These are from recent firings.  I’ll have pots like them in my Pop-Up Display on Saturday, December 2, during City Clay‘s Annual Holiday Show.  The City Clay show will be up for ten days, but my tables of pots will only be on Saturday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  City Clay is in the Silk Mills at 700 Harris Street, Charlottesville VA 22903.  For more information on the show, call me at 434-263-4023 or drop me a note at nan@nanrothwellpottery.com




Found. Market display

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Last week, I moved my display of pots from City Clay (they needed the space for new classes) to Found. Market in Belmont. Here are a couple of photos of the new display. Found. Market is a family-run bakery and market that opened this spring in the space where Cville Produce used to be, in Kathy’s Shopping Center – 221 Carlton Road.  You can read more about them on their website or their Facebook page.  I’m delighted about my new relationship with Found. Market. My friends and customers can combine a chance to see my work in an attractive new location with a chance to enjoy some excellent baked goods!

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Work in progress

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My friend Steve Palmer came by to take some photos for the Artisans Studio Tour which will take place November 11 & 12, 2017.  My new studio will be on the Tour, although it’s not clear  whether we will have moved in yet or if Studio #10 on the Tour will take in a late-stage construction site.

I’ll be joined by Jan Elmore, who will be showing her mirror frames and mixed-media wall sculpture.  I’ll have pots from the first firings in my new kiln, including some of these that Steve caught as I was glazing them and putting them in the kiln.

Carter refers to this style of mug as my corrugated trash can series

Steve didn’t take this photo (his would have been much nicer!) but here are some of the mugs from the firing.

Most of the pots were sprayed with blue/grey glazes.

I love Steve’s shot of the cone pads from my first firings. Pyrometric cones melt at specific temperatures. Potters use them to tell how hot it is in the kiln.

Third firing in the new Bailey kiln

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I unloaded my third firing yesterday and was quite pleased with the results.  Temperatures were just about even throughout and the glazes did well.  Here are some quick on-site snapshots of my favorites:

Online TeachinArt.com course gaining momentum

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Two students have signed up for my online course  that goes live soon.  Both live in Canada.  I’m looking forward to my contact with them!

My hands-on workshop at City Clay in Charlottesville this coming weekend will focus on cylinders, especially lamps.  So this afternoon I need to assemble some sets of lamp parts — a process that will entail shifting things in our storage unit and finding all the bits and pieces.  It makes me realize how simple life will be once we have moved into our house and everything is in one location.  I have had several years now of making pots in one location and firing in another — first my old kilns in Nelson and more recently my new kiln at our soon-to-be-house.  I look forward to working and living where the kiln is, instead of having to plan/provision for a day of glazing and loading or firing.

Here are some photos of my second firing in the new kiln.  It went well!

Front of kiln — almost all the pots were glazed in Shino

Back tier of second firing. The large bottle at the front was made by my friend Becky Garrity during our last clay camp together

New online course, second firing, and a great link

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A lot to report here:

First, my online throwing course on Teachinart.com is now open for registration.  There are six weekly sessions, with the entire course content available for ten weeks.  This format feels like an innovative hybrid — somewhere between in-person lessons and watching pottery videos on You-Tube.  Students will have a chance to ask me questions and interact with each other in a course chat room.

Koos and Antoinette Badenhorst have created their TeachinArt.com school, starting with Antoinette’s own teaching and expanding to guest potters.  (I’m their fourth guest.)  My course covers throwing the basics of throwing cylinders plus a number of advanced projects, including lamps, two-part forms, several lid styles, enclosed forms, mugs and handles, oval forms, and elephants.  We filmed it in Saltillo, Mississippi in Antoinette’s studio.

Second, yesterday I fired my kiln for the second time.  Firing next to a construction site (we’re still remodeling the house) is more of a challenge than next to a functioning studio.  But I got lucky with the weather, in that it stayed overcast most of the day, so although temperatures were typical for Virginia in July, I was spared having to deal with direct sun.  Will post photos here when I unload the firing tomorrow.

And finally, I just discovered this set of Mick Casson Master Classes posted on Jiseys Blog.  Mick taught at Harrow and then ran the course during my second year there.  He was a warm generous teacher — one of the people I try to emulate in my own teaching.  I haven’t taken the time to watch the whole series yet, but I already know it will be a treat!