Kim Ellington follows a 200 year old tradition by making the time-honored ceramic wares of Catawba Valley, NC. He digs his own clay to create traditional pottery forms ranging from bean pots to pitchers to vases. Also true to the tradition, he mixes wood ash, slip and glass to form the runny alkaline glaze typical of the region. Finally, he fires his work in a traditional wood-fired ground hog kiln identical to those used in the early days of the Catawba Valley pottery tradition.
Unlike other contemporary folk potters, Ellington has veered away from figurative work and face jugs. His preference is to eschew most surface decoration and allow the rich amber and chocolate glazes play over the surfaces of his classically beautiful forms, discriminately adding a wavy line or a glass run, and expecting the ash from the fire box to enrich his pieces with glittering specks of gold. In this way, his work is reminiscent of the turn of the century potter, Daniel Siegel. He studied clay at Haywood Community College, and he was the first ‘young’ potter to apprentice with the esteemed Catawba potter Burlon Craig. Craig passed on his techniques as well as maps of where the richest veins of clay and other native materials were located.
A few years ago, Ellington spearheaded a pottery department at Catawba Community College, to ensure the regionalisms will be carried on…
Click images to enlarge