The Los Angeles Pottery Show welcomes Taira Wiggins from Sweet Earth Pottery!
My interest in pottery began thirty years ago as a collector. Holding a ceramic piece that was made by the artist a hundred years ago or more, and running my hands over that piece to feel how it was made connects me to the artist. The forms and glazes, the process of making, fascinates me. It wasn’t until I sat down at a potter’s wheel in the last year of my forties that I began to transfer all of that tactile information into a raw piece of clay myself. The way to learn the nuances of making is to study those already made.
My work is influenced by the American Arts and Crafts Movement . I create pieces with a white stoneware body, throwing on a potter’s wheel. Some of my pieces are altered or carved before the first bisque fire. I enjoy the challenge of perfecting the cuerda seca method of glazing, a centuries-old technique that is prominent in Spanish tile work. It is the same method used by The Saturday Evening Girls where in a dry line of black resist is used to separate the various glaze colors. Once the glaze is dry, my pieces are fired a final time to cone 6 in oxidation.
My inspiration comes from the colors and landscape of the golden West. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a hillside dotted with mighty green Oak trees and a rocky stream running through it all. These colors and images often appear in my pieces.
When I’m not in my studio my time is spent with my other half working on our circa 1920s bungalow home and fishing for steelhead salmon and trout on the nearby Rogue River.