Come to the Harvard Ceramics Show & Sale!

December 6-9

Recent photos

Laurie Leuchtenburg

Functional Potter

Gallery of Throwing on the wheel
I have a passion for working with my hands to make pots for everyday use that are well crafted and pleasurable to use. I perform all the processes involved in making each piece. The majority of my work is thrown on a potter's wheel. Most of my pieces are made from stoneware clay although I occasionally use porcelain. With the exception of a few raku pieces, all my pots are food safe and fired in either a reduction or soda kiln.
Show and Sale I have been working at the Harvard Ceramics Studio for the last ten years. Over the years, I have found the most important aspect of being truly creative is to always grow. It is so easy to become stagnant. I am continually trying various forms and surface glazing techniques.

By spraying a sodium bicarbonate and soda ash solution into a reduction kiln, a different effect can be created. The sodium is carried by the flame throughout the kiln, reacting with bare clay and glazes to form a vitreous (glassy) layer. Where the soda vapor touches the clay piece, the surface is glossy; where the vapor misses, the surface is dry. Look for pebbled surfaces and other unpredictable touches on soda fired pieces. No two pots look the same.

Carved Mug

Clay pots are gradually heated in a gas kiln to about 2300°F (1300°C). Near the glaze melting temperature, the oxygen in the kiln is limited, by partially closing the air intake vents. The clay and glazes fuse in sometimes unpredictable ways creating the subtle glaze depth not found with electric kilns. The firing process can take up to 16 hours.

Raku Vase
Gallery of Raku Fired Pottery

Raku is a Japanese inspired firing technique which is characterized by rich glaze colors in contrast to the smoky gray/black color of the unglazed clay. In a Raku firing, pots are removed from the kiln at the height of their firing temperature [between 1600 and 1800 degrees] and placed in sawdust, newspaper [or other combustible material] which immediately ignites. The flames are then smothered, reducing the oxygen, which is then chemically pulled from the clay and glazes.