hands throwing mug
Potters Tour
October 21 & 22, 2017
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Indiana County - Western PA

last update 8/25/2017

Wender Pottery

81 Kittanning St.
Smicksburg, PA 16256
for directions visit Wender Pottery page


Guest Potter: Tom Bothe

Artist Statement:

"After days of preparing test glazes for a kiln, I find it very hard to wait for the kiln to cool. It’s like auditioning for a band and waiting for the judges to post the results.

In the past five years I have been working on technique and theory of zinc glazes and I’m fascinated at the incredible metamorphosis that takes place in the kiln. I can create surfaces with no crystals, some crystals, or saturated the piece with crystals. For the rings I design the crystal on paper and convert distance to time which is then programmed into the firing schedule. Lately I’ve discovered how to change subtle tints of color in the rings.

I fire the kiln to cone 11 and then drop to around 2000 deg. F. I hold for 0 - 8 hours. I use traditional throwing techniques. On some pieces I use handmade rollers to add texture to the surface. It is important to me that the form has balance and harmony. I put careful consideration on the proportion, weight, shape, color, and design of the form.

I work in a 900 sqft. studio. I use a white stoneware clay body, throw clockwise, trim counter clockwise, and fire in a custom designed programmable electric kiln. All work is original and signed. ."


From Tom's website:

" Thomas Bothe's story is the classic case of what can happen when you follow your bliss. After being laid off from his job as an engineer in 1993, Thomas took some time to reflect on what he might like to do with his life. He came to Pittsburgh for a few weeks to help in his brother's Fine Furniture design business and found himself drawn to the creative, hands-on work life his brother enjoyed. That Fall, he took his first pottery class with Stephen Merritt at Rochester Institute of Technology and soon realized he had found his new career. More pottery classes and more time working alongside his brother in the furniture business convinced him that he had to give pottery a try. In the fall of 1994 he stopped looking for engineering jobs and dedicated the next year to developing his skills as a potter. He hasn't looked back. " ...

Visit botheclay.com to get more information and pictures.

Below are some of his pottery: