Barbara Diehl
Spanky Design
Boulder, Colorado



Artist Statement
I have played with pottery since high school, but only in the last decade or so become "serious" as a potter/artist. A hand builder, I am part sculptor, part clay enabler, as I guide the natural materials to do what they will naturally do.

Studio Description
I fire at the Arvada Center in Arvada, a Denver suburb, though I do maintain a workspace in my home.

What type of clay do you use?
cone 10 stoneware, B-mix is a favorite, along with Los Altos and Black Mountain

What temperature do you fire to?
cone 10, reduction mostly

What is your primary forming method?
Gas high fire, salt, some wood firing when available

What is your favorite surface treatment?
Texture, applied washes, applied wood ash

Do you make any of your own tools?
No, but I adapt lots of nontraditional/kitchen/sculpture tools outside of the usual clay tools available.

What one word would you use to describe your work?

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
Arvada: camaraderie. Home: my music.

What is the one thing in your studio you can’t live without?
Hump/slump molds

What are your top three studio wishes?
More space, large sink with clay trap, drying rack

What’s on your current reading list?
Annie Proulx, Bird Cloud

How do you save money on materials and supplies?
Take care of the tools I do have to make them last forever.

How do you recharge creatively?
Visit galleries, museums, studios. Talk with fellow artists.

What challenges have you given yourself to overcome?
I would like sell more of my work, but refuse to make the mediocre ware that tends to sell in my area.

What did your first piece look like?
Still have it, still like it. Would like to still have the innocence of technique that the first piece had.

What ceramic superpower would you have and why?
I would like to have control over firings and placement of my pieces in the kiln when fired, which I do not have in the group studio currently.

Who is your ceramic art mentor and why?
Randy Johnston, great mastery of all things woodfire

What is on your studio playlist?
Haydn, Mozart, Bach

Why do you create art?
For the anticipation of the results. I can guide the outcome by using certain clays, effects, surface treatments, but nothing is really certain.

What is your best studio tip?
Keep things clean.

If you could change one property of clay, what would it be?
That it wouldn't crack as it dries!

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