I have been making pottery since 1987, concentrating on functional and whimsical mid-range stoneware.
Much of my recent work has been produced at the Art League Pottery School (part of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA), under the watchful eye of artists Blair Meerfield and Joan Ulrich. I taught pottery at Wakefield Recreation Center in Annandale, VA from 1999-2003. Previously, I studied with Bill van Gilder, Dennis Davis, and Mark Hatfield.
For me, pottery is therapeutic, one of several hobbies, and is not my main occupation. Potting requires intense concentration, and at the same time is a marvelous stress reliever.
I am a happy contributor to Empty Bowls events, at which handmade pottery bowls are sold to the public to collect money for food charities. Having lived through hard times myself, it is my pleasure to give my time and skills to benefit those in need in the community.
All pieces are lead-free, and are safe in the microwave and dishwasher. Stoneware is safe for oven use, provided you preheat no more than 200 degrees, then load the piece into the oven, then turn up the temperature as needed. Loading a stoneware piece into an oven preheated more than 200 degrees can cause the piece to crack.
For gardening enthusiasts, my planters are winter-proof, meaning that you can leave them outdoors in a Virginia winter and they will not disintegrate, unlike typical commercial red clay planters which will be destroyed by one good ice- or snow-storm. I have several stoneware planters that have survived outdoors for years, including the winter of 2009-10, when we had snowfalls in excess of three feet. One word of warning: if you want to leave clay planters outdoors in winter, remove the saucer and place the planter on wood or rocks, so that water can drain easily and not collect and freeze. Drainage is beneficial to the plants; try loading the bottom of the planter with shards of those commercial red clay pots, or ask me for some shards.
The following pages show examples of my work, both archival and recent pieces. I sell my pottery at the Alexandria farmer's market in front of City Hall (301 King Street) Saturday mornings until 12noon, weather permitting. I also have a pottery show at my home twice each year, in May and November. If you would like to receive an email notice of an upcoming home pottery sale, please contact me using the form below.
I do accept special orders, but only if sufficient time is available to produce the work, which can take weeks or months to complete. I don't ship my pieces, because shipping costs are prohibitive.
Thank you for visiting! LJ Pendlebury Colby