Colleen McCall

I have always loved painting, and I especially like the grit and rigor of clay.  I studied both in college and earned an MFA from Alfred University. My first hand-painted pots were crafted purely to delight my son and daughter, their cheerful whimsies being pink elephants, dancing bears and dinosaurs. In 2009, a few years after settling in Elmira, NY and setting up a home-based studio, I joined Handwork, Ithaca’s Artisan Cooperative, where my colorful patterned pottery has since grown up and my career has blossomed.


Decorated inside and out and from top to bottom, my hand built pottery is inspired by vibrant textile patterns and the unique shapes and textures in vintage glassware. Crafting from custom made plaster press molds and soft clay slabs, I design unique one-of-a-kind dishes durable enough for everyday use.  An opaque layer of porcelain slip creates a blank canvas for layering wax, colored slip and underglazes.  The rich brown clay beneath is revealed when I draw the final outlines using a technique known as sgraffito.  The resulting dish is pure joy empty or filled.

Elmira, N.Y.

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