Debra Steidel

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In 1974, at the ripe age of 18, I discovered my life’s work and passion: Clay.

Since those first years, my work has gone through many evolutions of refinement and growth.

To make a living as a potter has not been an easy journey. It has been one of triumph and disappointment, joy and hard work. It is a way of life I would never trade.

My medium is high fire porcelain clay. Each piece is an original design and made one by one. Starting with a ball of clay, I throw a form on the potters’ wheel. I later trim a foot and after thorough drying they are placed in a kiln to be fired, then once more after the glaze is applied.

Although they look like bronze, each of the lids on top of the jars are sculpted with porcelain and fired with a metallic glaze. There are many types of glazes. One of the glazes I use is a crystalline glaze because of the crystals that form on the surface of the vessel in the firing. In simple terms, although it is far from simple, it is the combination of ingredients in the glaze, the heat of the kiln and very slow cooling that creates the crystals. It can be best described as frost growing on a windowpane.

With each firing, every pot is uniquely different, making each piece a true one-of-a-kind. There can be many unforeseen circumstances in the fire, but when everything falls into place, the surprise and elegance of a beautiful pot makes it all rewarding.

Our world has become over saturated with machine made production items. Fine crafted works of art are becoming a rarity.

I strive to create true works of art that can be cherished by their collector and enjoyed for many generations to come.

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