Donna Craven

I began working as a journeyman potter in Seagrove in 1996, and spent years working day & night with various artists and studios in the Seagrove community. I built my first groundhog kiln in the spring of 2001 and held my first kiln opening later that year. My pots are wood-fired and salt-glazed. Wood firing gives the pots a rich surface that is a reflection of the earth based materials. The kiln is fired to cone 12 (2450 degrees F) in about sixteen hours with an overnight preheat. The oxygen content of the kiln is “reduced” early on in the process; when the correct temperature is achieved, salt is introduced, and the temperature regained before a crash cooling process.    I’m known for my larger pieces that are thrown and coiled with a one-inch extended coil. My work is grounded in tradition, yet reflects my own influences that produce a combination of strength, simplicity and gracefulness that is undeniably unique. I frequently employ a taped decoration technique using manganese or a combination of crackle slips and ash glaze to achieve my effects. I’m always searching for the one pot that mirrors my idea of perfection, and frequently find that it is the rare, unexpected quality when pulled from the kiln that makes the work so beautiful and satisfying. It‘s a lot of hard, humbling work and I‘m honored to be part of a tradition that is thousands of years old. I am a 7th generation, direct descendant of Peter Craven from Randolph County.

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