One of my first exposures to handmade pottery was high school ceramics class. I made a few interesting pieces through both handbuilding and wheel work. Through that process, I learned how difficult it can be to get a consistent result through working clay by hand.

I was in awe when in 2001, I met Paul Eshelman of Eshelman Pottery at the American Craft Council Show held every spring in St. Paul. Eshelman Pottery is functional handmade red clay stoneware with a very clean-lined, Asian-inspired aesthetic.  I purchased a few mugs that day when I met Paul, then purchased a few more, and eventually a creamer/sugar set. I have kept track of  Paul for years, as he is in MN frequently,  and love both the consistency and  the warmth of his pieces. Only after following Eshelman Pottery for a while and learning more about potters techniques, did I learn that the consistency of Eshelman Pottery is due to a form of handbuilding called slip-casting. Slip-casting  is where a liquid clay mixture is poured into a plaster mold and formed. There is still plenty of detailed handwork to be done after the piece is removed from the mold, though, and like all handmade ceramic work, it is a long process.

Just today I was looking through a trade website and I see Paul Eshelman featured on the cover of a studio materials magazine. As I dig further, I learn that Paul was also featured in the Ceramics Monthly June/July/August 2009 issue. Great to see all of your exposure Paul!  I love Eshelman Pottery!

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