Glenn Woods knows a thing or two about pottery.
The Indiana native has been a potter since 1974.
Now, he and Keith Herbrand are co-owners of Pottery Boys, a studio on Bogie Lane in Palm Harbor.
The studio is in a converted garage — filled with pottery wheels, pounds of clay and batches of handmade glazes.
And, on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8, it was one of five studio stops on the 12th annual Tampa Bay Tour De Clay.
The event featured studio presentations, which included demos, kiln openings and discussions.
Besides Pottery Boys, other stops on the tour were Hidden Lake Pottery, Odessa; Schiemann Pottery, St. Petersburg; Wellman & Welsch Pottery, Lutz; and, San Antonio Pottery, San Antonio.
This year’s Tour De Clay featured 33 guest artists, each offering an array of unique pieces.
One of the highlights at Pottery Boys was a crystalline kiln opening.
During the kiln opening, Woods pulled fired pieces out of both a glossy and a matte glaze kiln. He brought a few of the pieces out to discuss his glazes and technique, how clay variations can effect the glaze’s behavior, and the trial-and-error process he experiences while perfecting his recipe.
One of the special guests during the event was Judy Wenig-Horswell from Indiana, who was Woods’ art teacher at Northridge High School in Middlebury, Indiana.
Guest artists at Pottery Boys Studio, included Larry Allen, from Birmingham, Alabama, who said the events of Sept. 11 inspired him to incorporate a unity design in all his pieces.
Jennifer McCurdy from Martha’s Vineyard was another featured artist.
Her porcelain pieces are wheel thrown, then altered, carved and sanded by hand before being fired bare (without a glaze) to cone 10. Cone 10 temperature allows the porcelain to become nonporous and translucent.
There was also another guest artist, Ellen Cole, of Tarpon Springs.
Cole was a potter until she contracted Lyme Disease about 20 years ago, while hiking. Because of her weakened condition, she no longer had the strength in her wrists or legs to work with traditional clay.
About 15 years ago, she attended a class at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, where she learned about a medium called fine silver clay. This medium involves using small batches of the material, not much larger than a postage stamp. Because of its small size, Cole found she could tolerate working with her hands again.
She now creates very intricate jewelry — sometimes taking months to complete a single piece.
She often incorporates complicated layers over layers of fine silver clay, and uses items such as empty ball point pens and an antique broach to produce various textures in her designs.
Published December 18, 2019