shankin pottery


2015-2017: AYLA MULLEN

A native of Washington State and a graduate of Marlboro College, I have been farmer, political theorist, aspiring writer, and bird research technician before coming to clay. This apprenticeship has been a wonderful adventure, leading me across the country to a new community, a new ecosystem, and an amazing opportunity to explore my relationship to pottery. These two yeas have involved thinking deeply about both the how and the why of my studio practice, and I couldn't ask for a more supportive and inspiring environment in which to do that. 

I see pots as vessels for storytelling; they can invoke thoughts, memories, and emotions which enliven a moment or an entire day. Clay is my canvas and my vocabulary. In the studio, I explore narrating the plants and landscapes around me as I perceive them, embodied in line and form and image. What stories do I tell with intention and exactness, and what comes through by accident? What is the formal vocabulary of emotion, and how can I convey the poetry of the natural world within the limits of a vessel?  My hope is that these stories, carved in clay, will expand and individualize, taking on a life of their own like the best folktales, through the accrued layers of meaning which use and touch bring to everything familiar.

2018: Aaron Moseley


I’m drawn to the process of throwing clay because there is a delicate balance between stretching a form into a functional piece and the clay buckling and collapsing. The loose precision of the throwing process allows for the freedom of an idea to gradually change and develop through the process of creating work, rather than a rigid plan for every piece.

 Often times, we go through the everyday motions with little consideration of where things come from. I want my ceramic vessels to be a moment where we stop and consider the things we use for everyday use. I enjoy cooking meals and sharing food with people.  I feel that making work to be used for a specific function is a way for me to find myself into peoples homes to become part of their daily routine.

Exploring old farmsteads in Iowa, and picking through scrap piles to uncover weathered antique oil cans, milk cans, and watering cans have always been in my mind when creating. The patina on these weathered shapes I would uncover has always fascinated me. The different variegated textures speak to the history of the piece that makes me reflect on the life that the object has had, as well as the lives it’s been a part of.