Deborah Harris has been a full time studio potter in Chapel Hill, North Carolina since 1997. Her pottery education began at local art centers and soon expanded to include workshops at Arrowmont and Penland School of Crafts. In addition, Deborah teaches wheel, porcelain and glaze classes at Claymakers in Durham and Sertoma Arts Center in Raleigh, NC.
Carbon trap Shino glazes on porcelain are her current passion. This combination has won her the 2003 Durham Arts Council’s Centerfest First Place Three Dimensional Artist Award and the 2004 Arts at the Meadows, Best in Fine Crafts Award in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Objects used and handled during everyday routines become familiar and comfortable. Functional tableware is an integral part of the routine and pottery can serve a warm and welcoming part. My work begins on the porter’s wheel. Porcelain is my first choice for a clay body. It has a silky touch while being turned and can be finished to the softest, smoothest surface. Texture is then achieved with various ribs, carving tools , hand made stamps or found objects. The work is then bisque fired to make it strong enough to handle and glaze. Once the glaze is applied and decoration is complete, the ware is fired a second time in either a soda or gas kiln using a reduction atmosphere. Japanese Shino and Celadon glazes are used on most of my tableware. The whiteness of the clay body allows the glaze colors to shine. the Sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic variations in these glazes make each individual piece unique.
Her work is influenced by many factors, especially world cultures, human movement and living in a state so exceptionally rich in pottery history. She plans to continue to refine her techniques and experiment with new ideas, in hopes that her work will continue to evolve through clay’s infinite potential.