Shari Zabriskie Pottery

About the Artist

I primarily work with wheel-thrown white stoneware. Each piece that I make is embellished with detailed surface decoration inspired by the world around me. My most popular line are my "birch pots" which I have been making for over a decade. This body of work (featured in Yankee Magazine) are made to feel and look like birch bark on the outside and are glazed with my own home-made unique glazes on the interior. These pots are functional tableware: mugs, plates, bowls, vases, utensil holders, luminaries, ginger jars and more. This line of work is fired electrically to cone ten (high-fire). After taking a trip to Mexico a new line of work has been taking shape. I call these pots my illustrated botanical pots. They are inspired by the textures on old brick and concrete buildings with spritely botanicals springing up seemingly from within. Graffiti may spring up on the surface of these pots which celebrate the power of mother nature's beauty even in the most surprising urban setting. These pieces are truly a process to make. I decorate the surface bit by bit at each stage of the clay's workability. The colors I choose change with seasons just as the colors change along my morning walk with each passing day. Another line of work that I have been developing over the past few years are my crackled surface pots. These pieces take inspiration from the clay and earth itself. They reflect the erosion process seen on the rock, river banks, dirt roads and mountains here in Vermont. I add clay slip to the surface of the pots and allow the clay slip to crack open while stretching the piece from within. The crackled surface is stained to create a dramatic contrast of color and texture. I am currently playing with this technique on vases and lamps in neutral tones inspired by my winter walks. Currently, all of my pots (other than the birch) are fired to cone six in electric kilns. This reduction in firing temperature is an attempt to reduce my carbon footprint while continuing to develop durable, striking pots.

Primary medium / category: Ceramics