September 27, 2018
Ohio Clay Test Pottery

ceramic artist photographer cleveland


You might recall, I’m pretty into ceramics. I like the feeling of something tangible in our super digital world. This past spring, I paid a visit to Billy Ritter’s ceramic studio in Cleveland for a little experiment. I had connected with Billy on Instagram and told him about the clay I had seen in the soil in my parents’ yard in Ohio.

ceramic artist photographer cleveland

Ohio Clay

Billy said, “Yeah, bring me some of that!” He very graciously offered to do some test firing so my mom and I could see how the clay in the yard worked out for creating ceramic art. It’s something she has talked about doing when she retires. How cool would it be to have a source right there at home!

Normally, clay would be watered down a bit and strained through a screen to get out the hunks of rock and debris. But since this was just firing test, we played around without filtering it.

ceramic artist photographer cleveland

I thought it would be kind of boring to fire random hunks of clay, so my Mom and sculpted these little pinch pots and heart-shaped paperweight. Billy then fired them at 3 different temperatures — the higher the temperature, the darker the piece turned out.

ceramic artist photographer cleveland


Believe it or not, these 3 pieces were all made from the same shovel-full of clay, which looked a rather putrid green before it was fired. All of the color difference you see is entirely down to the level of heat — no glaze or coating was applied.

If you’re interested, hop over to my post about Billy Ritter‘s work; he’s amazing!

And, be sure to keep up with all of my creative adventures on Instagram.

Love this? Connect on social so you won't miss a post.