Lucinda Rochester Smith of Greenwood Pottery is a ceramics artist in Hardwick, Vermont.
"Clay is incredibly seductive. My first encounter with it was in the art department at the University of Vermont, and it changed the direction of my life at the time. Not only is the material itself fascinating, but I think the first time I was present when a kiln opened with my work in it, my captivity was complete. The fire always has the final say in what a piece will become, which can be exhilarating or frustrating, depending on one’s expectations. The possibilities for forming and decorating clay are endless, and I have always been drawn to experiment with new color and surface, even though it slows down production of the work. Though I see myself as a potter first, respecting form as it relates to function and use, I look at each piece individually when glazing, making decisions as an artist would do with a canvas.
My work is hand thrown on the pottery wheel, or formed with the use of slab roller. I was fortunate to have been taught to throw pots by George Scatchard, one of Vermont’s well-known potters, and credit him with my love of finely thrown and well-trimmed work. Function, balance and aesthetics should come together if a piece is to give years of pleasurable use.
I have always worked with high-fired stoneware, the first 25 years or so with a gas-fired kiln, using a process called reduction, to gain depth and richness in the surface. More recently I have been using an electric kiln, firing in oxidation, which is a cleaner and quicker process. Over the past several years I have worked to develop glazes fired in oxidation that mimic some of the effects that can be created with the gas kiln.
My choice of color in glazes is definitely inspired by the natural world and Vermont’s four seasons. I experiment with glazes sort of impressionistically, using earth tones, greens, and combinations found in nature. I use wax resist for natural motifs and a carving tool on some pieces similarly to the way one would produce a woodcut.
I am fortunate to live and work in Woodbury, Vermont, in landscape that I love and with a medium that I love. It is important to me that my work creates a positive response in people, and that they can count on its quality and usefulness."