Allison Severance

Teaches at VisArts at Rockville

Couse Objective
Goals are to teach students wedging and centering clay on the potter’s wheel and the demonstrating the basic forms of pottery: the bowl, the cylinder and the plate. Through her demonstrations and encouraged repetitive throwing and practice on the students’ part, students will learn to throw or to make these basic forms with confidence. These skills can then be used to create a large variety of pottery including mugs, pitchers, colanders, teapots, dinnerware, and bakeware. Techniques such as pulling handles, attaching feet, and lids and their arrangement are discussed and demonstrated. Strong emphasis is placed on hand positions and potters’ tools needed to make pots. 

Teaching Philosophy
Allison Severance enjoys nothing more than sharing the joy of clay!  Allison, who has exhibited her wood-fired, salt glazed pots nationally and internationally, places a strong emphasis on enjoying the clay process and having fun while learning how to make pottery for use in the home – on the potter’s wheel and using hand building techniques. One on one personalized instruction is given to all students regardless of skill level and her goal is to motivate all students so they become “hooked” on clay. She hopes all her students leave the classroom happier than when they arrived.  

Allison grew up on a working farm located in rural Maryland and received an Associates Degree in Art from Howard Community College and a BA in Art from Hood College. She also studied Painting and Printmaking and Art Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was Assistant Ceramics Director at Hood College and an apprentice to Bill vanGilder. She established her first pottery and built her first wood-fire salt kiln in 2000 at her old location in Boonsboro, Maryland and maintained a 12 year studio potter career. She also taught wheel throwing and led numerous wood firing workshops at her old pottery. In June 2012, she established her second pottery in the northern Catoctin Mountains of Maryland where she makes functional pottery and fires in her second wood salt kiln.
“My pots are thrown on a kick wheel and fired in my wood salt kiln. I strive to make well-crafted and quiet pots – pots that have a job and are used to enhance the daily rituals of preparing, sharing and enjoying food. I hope the natural wood fired and salt glazed surfaces of my pots are warm and friendly and most importantly, send out a visual invitation to be held in the hand.”
Allison’s pots have been included in numerous national and international exhibitions, including Salzbrand Keramik in Germany, and the Orton Cone Box and the Strictly Functional Show here in the states. She has also been included in numerous newspaper article and magazine articles including Clay Times, the Log Book International Wood-fire Magazine, and Ceramics Monthly. Other publications include Salzbrand Keramik 2004.

Artist Website & Video:Allison Severence's Website: Highfield Pottery

Classes taught by Allison Severance

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