Pottery in Minnesota

Much like China secretly being a sport climbing paradise, Minnesota is secretly a haven for great handmade thrown ceramic pottery. I knew this growing up, but only recently did I reflect on this a bit and set out to hunt down some Minnesota ceramics for my new apartment.

Firstly, why is Minnesota a haven for ceramics?

In short, it goes back to a man named Warren MacKenzie. This man studied ceramics in Japan and brought the japanese Mingei style of pottery to Minnesota, creating a small following and inspiring a generation of Minnesotans. Even years after his death, his work still sells at high prices on Ebay to this day.

MacKenzie had a studio in the woods in Stillwater, where he would throw and fire his own clay using traditional techniques such as wood, gas, and soda-burning kilns. His stoneware is very rustic but not showy or graphic or flashy. It’s simply a piece of the earth shaped to be useful for human use, fired and glazed, and happens to be incredibly beautiful. It’s basically just great, mass-produced UX for in-real-life usage.

The MacKenzie influence lead to a whole generation of potters in Minnesota following in his footsteps, and to this day there’s a large contingency of just Minnesotan woods people off in the forest making high-quality vessels from clay. In addition to the tradition, Minnesota is a great place for these people — low price for lots of land to build your studio + kiln on, good clay from the ground, and a climate conducive to the craft.

Digging for pottery in minnesota Digging for pottery in minnesota

Digging for pots is also just a cool thing to do on a fall day in Minnesota!

These are the recent artists we found:

Last modified: October 08, 2023
© 2024