Scott Rutherford

I create high fire functional stoneware pottery that is an aesthetic blend of Japanese tea ceramics and American folk craft pottery. I studied both of these ceramic traditions while going to graduate school at the University of New Mexico.

My forms are hand thrown functional pots, designed to bring beauty to food preparation and presentation. I fire my work in electric oxidation and wood fired reduction kilns. The glazes I use are custom formulated by me and are applied by pouring multiple layers of glazes over the surface of the forms. These are intentionally applied in a loose flowing pattern that accentuates runs and drips. During the firing the molten glazes flow into each other and the interplay of different oxides enhance the beauty and depth of the glaze surface.

My wood fired work is inspired by Oribe style Japanese tea ware. Iron over glaze patterns are playfully applied to the glaze surface which are reminiscent of this traditional Japanese style, but with a contemporary sensibility.

Several times a year I fire my work in Japanese Anagama style kilns in Kalamazoo Michigan and Taos New Mexico. The pots are fired from five to ten days in these kilns, which use wood for fuel. Flames from the burning wood, snake around and through the densely packed pottery creating eddies of flame and ash. The patterns and behavior of this river of flame are similar to water flowing over rocks in a stream. During the firing the flame and the melting wood ash produce effects ranging from subtle flashing marks to dramatic pools and drips of melted ash glaze.