Shawn Ireland

Shawn Ireland

Shawn Ireland is a North Carolina potter whose work contains both history and wonder. He creates pieces that are sculptural yet functional, with a foundation in folk tradition.

He makes his home close to the acclaimed Penland School of Crafts, where he was a resident artist for three years. Shawn incorporates many materials from this region into his works which adds a rustic charm and a deep sense of place. The clay body is hand-mixed and augmented with local minerals and soils. His glazes are composed of local feldspar, ball clay and ash from his woodstove. The kiln is fueled with wood salvaged from burn piles at nearby sawmills.

The combination of wood flame and ash can produce colors and surfaces reminiscent of objects found in nature. Like these objects, wood fired pots can look similar to each other, but never identical. The variation and unpredictability of the final glaze is for Shawn, the most exciting part of the whole process.

“I find beauty in the simplicity and usefulness of folk pottery. To me, pots from pre-industrial cultures worldwide embody the spirit of a life less encumbered.…The ingredients promote surprises and keep my craft connected to the natural world.”
Recently, Shawn has begun living in Italy part time & teaching painting. His time there exploring rustic Italian pottery has ignited a new passion for adding figurative and sculptural elements to his functional ware.

Selected Works

One Handled Wine Jug

North Carolina hand-dug wild clay, wood-fired. Fully Fuctional and Dishwasher safe.
size: 10 3/4" tall
$80.- (SIP1621)

Polka Dot White Vase

North Carolina hand-dug wild clay, wood-fired stoneware. Fully Functional and Dishwasher safe.
size: 11 7/8" tall
$175.- (SIP1617)

Large Striped Server

North Carolina hand-dug wild clay, wood-fired. Fully Fuctional and Dishwasher safe.
size: 16" wide x 4" deep
$200.- (SIP1620)

Round Rivet Vase

North Carolina hand-dug wild clay, wood-fired stoneware. Fully Functional and Dishwasher safe.
size: 8 1/2" tall
$250.- (SIP1472)

Cone Mug

North Carolina hand-dug wild clay, wood-fired stoneware. Fully Functional and Dishwasher safe.
size: 3 5/8" tall
$25.- (ea) (SIP1606)

Good Day Mugs

North Carolina hand-dug wild clay, wood-fired stoneware. Fully Functional and Dishwasher safe.
size: 3 5/8" tall, 3 available in lovely shades of green, call for specifics
$28.- (ea) (SIP1599)