Search the Daily

Published Jul 3, 2023

I would say Maria White's Charleston, South Carolina, pottery studio falls into the category of dream studio. The big windows provide plenty of natural light, and I am in awe of the cleanliness and organization!

So, I thought I would share this excerpt with you all from her Studio Visit article in the June/July/August 2023 issue of Ceramics Monthly. Have a look and be inspired to create the studio of your dreams (or at least implement a few of Maria's tips into your studio set up!). –Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor

My studio is located in a Craftsman bungalow in a commercial-and-residential area in Charleston, South Carolina. I selected this space because of the location, the light, and the possibilities. It offers a cozy vibe that I hope will build community and inspire creativity. While I’ve had a home studio before, I now enjoy having this house as a separate space dedicated to work. My husband, who is a writer and filmmaker, also works here. We occasionally collaborate on film projects.

Studio Visit: Maria White Studio Visit: Maria White

We bought the studio “craft house” in the summer of last year. It was built in 1920 and has been renovated to have modern fixtures. The house itself is a little over 1000 square feet. I throw and design in one room, which is just around 200 square feet and has large windows, a closet for storage, and shelving. I use a Workpro table as my wedging table and have additional stainless-steel worktables for easy clean up. I use a magnetic knife strip to organize my tools. In the main room, I use a table made of a durable material that wipes down easily for space when I need to spread out or for workshops, social events, collaborations with other artists, or for my kids to do their homework or projects. The shelves in the main space were custom made by local woodworker, Jonathan Rypkema, which we installed to display work. I love the versatility of these shelves, and he created one for my studio as well. My favorite aspect of this studio is the natural light and the art I have displayed, ranging from that of local painters to photography by cinematographers we’ve worked with. The space receives abundant light throughout, and it just feels really good to be in there. It also has a kitchen and I love to entertain and have students, clients, and colleagues over for coffee and conversation. I became a hobbyist barista during the pandemic and love sharing my collection of mugs and cups with guests when they stop by the studio, offering them an Americano or cappuccino to sip on out of a handmade pot.

Studio Visit: Maria WhiteStudio Visit: Maria WhiteStudio Visit: Maria White

The laundry room has been transformed into the kiln and glaze materials room. I fire with a Skutt kiln and use an EnviroVent. We have a small backyard and use the back porch for casting and glazing, and I also have a wheel out back to throw outside—I love throwing outside on a beautiful day, which we are fortunate to have a lot of in the mild, subtropical climate of Charleston. My dream is to eventually create an outdoor work area and patio, as well as build an exterior shed to use for casting, for my spray booth, and to house the kilns.

I have learned so much from each space I have worked in, including what I do and don’t want to replicate. Both of my parents had studios when I was growing up, so I knew I wanted a studio of my own someday. My mother was always designing clothing or costumes, and my father was painting or doing graphic design. When I was a much younger potter working in a co-op called Clayworks, founded by Susan Filley (the first of its kind here in Charleston), I learned to keep up after my scraps of clay, try to stay organized, and recycle so as not to contaminate other clays or be wasteful. During my apprenticeship with Michael Sherrill, I learned a lot about being open to possibilities in a studio so that it’s more dynamic, utilizing simple solutions like adding casters to tables so they are mobile, making it easier to create more fluidly. I love that the main space of my studio can just as easily host a handbuilding workshop, group art therapy, or a birthday party. From my recent residency at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine, I picked up some tricks on how to keep a tidier studio, such as keeping a bucket with holes drilled at the top in the sink to let water easily drain out while clay and glaze settle. This prevents the sink from getting filled up with clay.

Studio Visit: Maria WhiteStudio Visit: Maria White

Visit Maria's webiste,, to learn more, or visit her Instagram: @mariawhitestudio.