Chris has been painting since college days when he was an art major at Utah State. During the last few years he has also focused more on his pottery experiences. While his first firings were accomplished in an electric kiln, during the last year he has fired hundreds of pots in home made raku kilns. In June he and potter colleagues — Bill van Gilder, John Thies, and Richard Busch — constructed a wood firing kiln and this has become the major method for his most recent firings. He works on his paintings in a home studio and has recently had a large studio constructed where he throws and glazes his pots.
Bill van Gilder
Bill van Gilder has been a professional potter for more than 30 years. With his home, studio and kilns in Gapland, MD, Bill travels widely giving pottery workshops and collaborating with John Thies on their kiln building projects. Bill has served on the faculty of The Art League, Alexandria, VA, and is founder/director of The Frederick Pottery School, Frederick, MD. He also writes a ‘Teaching Techniques’ column for Clay Times magazine and is the creator, writer, and host of Throwing Clay, the DIY Network Television series about making pottery.
“I make pottery with the hope and anticipation that the pots will invite use. By using a slow momentum kick wheel, soft clays, and a wood-fueled kiln, I pursue the casual nuance of form and surface I admire so much in some historical pots. I make multiples of similar pots, and within each series there is discovery. The process is complete when the pot is held in the hand, connecting the maker to the user—a subtle form of communication and enough reason for me to make pots again.”
David Norton, a self-taught, full-time potter from Round Hill, Virginia, has been making functional stoneware pottery and ceramic sculpture for over 30 years. While he works mainly out of his studio at home, for many years he has also been a participating artist at the Torpedo Factory Arts Center in Alexandria, VA. He has exhibited and taught at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Museum, and given workshops in Venezuela, Poland, and in the Washington, DC area.
"I enjoy making pots that people use to enrich their daily lives," he says. "Making pottery becomes like breathing—with the rhythm and harmony I seek in my life being reflected in the objects I make."
Norton keeps in touch with aspiring local young artists by volunteering each year to give pottery workshops for some of the many art teachers he has come to know in Loudoun County.
Richard Busch is the owner of Glenfiddich Farm Pottery in Leesburg. A former magazine editor who discovered the artistic rewards from working with clay back in the late 1980s, Richard left the publishing world in 1998 to pursue functional pottery full time. He soon built his studio and kiln on a 180-year-old former dairy farm on the Leesburg outskirts where he currently lives and works.
“For me making pottery is forever challenging and, when things go well, deeply rewarding.” he says. “The possibilities for forms and colors are endless.”
Richard has also been a professional photographer for some 40 years, working mainly with conventional black-and-white film. His photographs have documented countless events, activities, and people throughout his life. When working for Show Magazine in the Sixties he was assigned to cover many rock stars and celebrities. He makes his own prints in his home darkroom.