Looking Back on my Pottery Trip to Prairie Fire Pottery, Beach, ND

512 miles down a single stretch of highway led me straight to Prairie Fire Pottery. After almost 2 weeks of clay work, learning about pottery business, and relaxing with friends and cats, I feel thankful for such an amazing experience.

“My work is highly influenced by the North Dakota land…I grew up here, my soul is imprinted in the land.” – Tama Smith, owner of Prairie Fire Pottery.

This image below shows how Tama draws inspiration for her glazing and colors directly from North Dakota landscapes. Her glaze studio is full of photography. Prairie Fire Pottery, Tama Smith Glazing, Joel Cherrico Pottery, 2014

Tama’s strongest voice comes out through her glazes: “In grad school, my teacher said, ‘Any potter can make cups and bowls. Your surfaces will set you apart.’ I don’t make much work in clay because I love glazing and firing the kiln.” I can’t wait to see how she uses my pots as canvases for her abstract landscapes.

Prairie Fire Pottery, Copper Red Glaze, 2014

Tama and I still found a way to collaborate in clay, as she learned my handle pulling technique and pulled over 100 handles for these tall, “car cup holder” mugs. Both our signatures are included on every pot, along with any other studio helpers that participate in the Praire Fire Pottery workshop. Check the Prairie Fire Pottery website in the near future to find these tall mugs, small dandelion vases, and square, casserole bakers that Tama will glaze in the coming months:

Tama Smith, Prairie Fire Pottery, Joel Cherrico Pottery, 2014

Small Vases, Pottery By Joel Cherrico and Tama Smith, Prairie Fire Pottery

Joel Cherrico Sculpture, 2014, Spiral, Nautalis sculpture Handmade Casserole Bakers, Joel Cherrico, Stoneware Bakers Casserole Bakers, Joel Cherrico, Stoneware Bakers Bakeware, Handmade Stoneware Bakers, Joel Cherrico, Prairie Fire Pottery

Visiting other potteries gave me perspective on the huge variety of ways that potters make a living. I bought a pot at Dakotah Clayworks in Hebron, ND at their self-serve gallery!

North Dakota, Dakotah Clay Works, Self Serve Pottery, Joel Cherrico Pottery, 2014

Stay tuned for more of my work showing up in American Craft Council and Ceramics Monthly, as I’ve been accepted to write in upcoming publications online and in print!

Ceramics Monthly, American Craft Council, Ceramics Technical magazine, Joel Cherrico Pottery Writing Publications

Lastly, my online store is finally back up and running, with mugs, cups and a few speciality pots, like collaborative pots with renowned painter Paige Dansinger. Paige is moving to a new gallery in Minneapolis! We have plans to perform collaborative art making and show work in her new space.

Painted Pottery, Paige Dansinger, Joel Cherrico Pottery, 2014  Pottery by Joel Cherrico, 2014

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