Aaron Ashcraft

My artistic process is heavily influenced by my life in the American West and specifically by the Sandstone wilderness around Moab Utah. Colors, Textures and Forms from the Colorado Plateau permeate my thinking about pottery and sculpture, showing up in color palette and the Forms I make in the studio.


Stoneware Pottery made from a dark brown iron bearing clay is often brushed with white slip clay, creating a complex interaction when fired in the kiln.

Many of the soft clay forms are manipulated off the wheel, sometimes heavily manipulated.  Paddle marks and wire cut details create greater visual texture.  Elegant glazes and ash enhance the shape of each piece resulting in forms that are interpretive and subtle.


In 2012, a new series of 2-D work appeared in my studio.

I started drawing on the soft clay with a variety of tools. Textures found in nature are often rolled or pressed into the clay. Finally Sumi-e style painting has found a place in the compositions with the black brushwork a perfect complement to the textured clay slabs.

In 2015 I discovered Obvara Firing.

Low fire, decorative and sculptural, this process has all but taken over my creative clay making. Dunked in a fermenting brew, the pottery achieves an amazing variety of patterns and visual textures upon removal from the brew.

Check out the process videos on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5r1r9p0SUMC-Ie5JVLQ9YA


It’s all about creating a dense combination of textures, glazes and colors that enhance form and make the viewer look closer, spending some time to really understand what’s going on.

In the end, it's important to note that the kilns have the final say on the composition, often providing some unexpected results.