Diane Puckett

I love mud, be it in the studio or the garden. My first foray into ceramics was in the 1970s. I took a long time off for things like raising children and having a career in the Washington, DC area.

I got back into ceramics in 2000, taking classes from Fran Newquist at Manassas Clay where I eventually had a studio and sold my work.

Since moving to Asheville, North Carolina in 2009, I have established my own studio where I fire oxidation work and raku ware. I have had the privilege of taking classes and workshops from some amazing local potters.

Living in the Southern Appalachians is about as good as it gets. On the best days, the studio windows are wide open, good music is playing with the birds singing along, and I am up to my elbows in mud.

Diane Puckett

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Progress in Handbuilding

I have been working on handbuilding with Mary Mikkelsen for the past several  months. Handbuilding is a slower, more meditative way of creating pottery.

Most of my handbuilding begins with making slabs of clay. I don't like making slabs, so I tend to make a number of them at one time, layering them between sheets of plastic and sheetrock. The plastic keeps the clay from drying out and the sheetrock from getting moldy. I have a small slab roller but find the best work comes from handmade slabs. Today the UPS man delivered a huge rolling pin, which should help.

Once I get a couple good-sized slabs made, I am quite happy to spend the entire day making things, stopping only when I run out of slabs or my back gives out from standing in the same position all day.

This is a piece I made yesterday. I added the feet today. The newsprint under the feet allow them to move as the pot dries, helping to prevent cracks. This is a low-fire, red clay. I don't usually use dark clays, but I have some and need to use it. I prefer not to throw with it, as throwing makes a lot more mess to clean up. Even though I know light clays make just as much mess, somehow the mess from red clays seem a lot more difficult to clean up. In my fantasies, I have a studio large enough for two complete areas, one for light clays and one for dark. In reality, I clean a lot.

I used the leftover slab to make this wallhanging. The insert is woven strips of clay. I am not sure where I am going with this piece. It is really a prototype for future wallhangings. I like pieces which hold organic things such as pinecones or seashells. I had not idea what to put inside this piece so decided to try weaving some clay to see how that works out.


  1. I really like the top piece a lot. I love the classic form and details, with the function of the shape. It sort of reminds me of the baskets you made a long time ago that had the openings below the handles, but this is light years better.

    The wall hanging I'm not as sure about, but I like functional pottery. I think it depends on where it goes with the glazes. It looks like it's giving birth.

  2. Leave it to a nurse to see birth. And I was thinking it looks like a football. I may have to develop the birth idea.