About Miami Valley Pottery
The focus of Miami Valley Pottery is hand made, functional, wood fired pottery.
After graduating from Earlham College, Naysan studied with Cary Hulin (Holmes County Pottery) and Todd Piker (Cornwall Bridge Pottery) as an apprentice, where he focused on hand-thrown production pottery and firing large Anagama Woodfired Kilns. In 2004 he and his wife, Jalana, established Miami Valley Pottery in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
"I founded Miami Valley Pottery in 2004 with my wife Jalana. The Pottery is located just outside the charming village of Yellow Springs where I grew up and was first exposed to the ceramic arts. As part of the Yellow Springs High School's 'Community Experience' program I spent two years in HS, working in the studio of David & Keiko Hergesheimer. I then spent the next four years at Earlham College studying Ceramics with Mike Theideman, who worked with Warren McKenzie. Warren McKenzie was Bernard Leach's first American apprentice. McKenzie introduced the Leach tradition of functional studio pottery to the United States.
After graduation from Earlham, I returned to Yellow Springs and worked for three years in the Community Pottery. It was during this time I realized that I needed more training and chose apprenticeship rather than graduate school. I began by working with Cary Hulin at Holmes County Pottery in Ohio. I then joined his mentor, Todd Piker, at Cornwall Bridge Pottery in Connecticut, where I spent over two years. Todd had apprenticed with Michael Cardew, who was in fact Bernard Leach's very first apprentice.
My apprenticeship at Cornwall Bridge Pottery initiated me into a long tradition of woodfire potters who trace a direct lineage back to Michael Cardew, Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada. My apprenticeship taught me the technical skills necessary to produce large quantities of functional ware, and more importantly provided me with an understanding of what qualities distinguish a beautiful pot and a successful pottery."
- Naysan McIlhargey