Stacey Esslinger


As long as I can remember I was involved in art and making. As a child I knew I would be an artist and was always encouraged in this belief by my supportive family.  I attended the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University where I received my BFA with a concentration in ceramics.  After finishing college I was an artist-in –residence at the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony in Woodstock, New York. 

Attending Alfred seemed to push me toward ceramics but I was never able to let go of my love for textiles.  After struggling for two years to find a way to combine the two art forms I finally found the solution; I abandoned the potter’s wheel.  By constructing my forms with slabs I was able to emboss the porcelain with textured fabrics.  I have developed patterns for each form and use joining techniques similar to dressmaking, utilizing darts, gussets and even adding “buttons”.  Once the functional forms are complete they are dried very slowly and fired once to a low temperature.  The different colored glazes are meticulously applied, and the pieces are fired a final time to cone 9 (2,336 degrees F). 

My work has been simplifying over the past few years as I discover how to balance raising my young daughter and continuing to create in the studio.  However, my ultimate goal is still to capture the luxury of hand-made textiles such as laces, embroideries, and knitting and infuse them into the everyday comfort of functional pottery.