Harrison Levenstein – Red Lodge Clay Center

Harrison LevensteinSheffield, Massachusetts

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Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2019 – 2020

Harry Levenstein was born and raised in the mountains of the far western United States and has traveled extensively in pursuit of his education in the ceramic arts and pottery-making. He has been working in clay for 10 years and has been focused on the art of wood firing for the last 8 of them. He is currently figuring out a way to build a studio and wood kiln of his own in the Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts where he is also working as the studio tech at the Bard College at Simon’s Rock.


My work exists on the threshold between the influence of my conscious hand and the inherent beauty my materials confer on their own.  I draw on the language of fine historical craft and functional pottery traditions to imbue familiar useful objects with a sense of wonder evoked by the enigmatic effects of the wood fired kiln. I formulate my own clay bodies and use a variety of decorative techniques including slip textures, rope-impressions, floral brushwork, and carved motifs to adorn the work and allow it to enter into conversation with the fire. My training in wood firing has offered me the working knowledge to harness the technique to my advantage, and the humility to know that the credit for its aesthetic boons can never be wholly mine; it is an elemental collaboration. The process of wood firing offers the perfect venue for this dance of intention and chance. With each use I hope my pots encourage their beholders to interrogate the numinous processes involved in bringing them into existence.