Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2019 – 2020
Harry Levenstein is a potter based in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. He loves making and firing pottery, and sharing that passion with others through writing for the Studio Potter Journal, teaching ceramics at the local college, and traveling to teach wood-firing workshops in the US and abroad. After many years of travel and education his current mission is to find the perfect property to settle down and build his own studio and wood kiln.
I draw on the language of fine historical craft and utilitarian pottery traditions to create beautiful objects with a sense of mystery evoked by the effects of the wood fired kiln. I adorn my pots using age-old potters’ techniques such as slip trailing and textures, rope-impressions, floral brushwork, and carved motifs and allow them to enter into conversation with the fire. The complexity and intensity of the atmosphere within the kiln leaves its mark on the ware, transforming the simple familiar object into something less immediately comprehensible. 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. This process offers the perfect venue for a dance of intention and chance in pursuit of something beautiful.