Nate Saunders

My work is a culmination of many components yet is constrained within traditions of functional pottery. My making process is filled with material limitations, which I thrive on as a process driven artist. These barriers are what pushes my work forward in a problem solving fashion.  I am limited by  the restraints of the clay’s agility and texture and use such limits to inform the production of my work. Restriction does not end there. Where it begins with the clay it continues into the firing of my work.  Whether it be wood firing, pit firing, or my preferred soda/salt firing, the restrictions are numerous. I aim to be an observer to all the “problems” that arise in my work and hope that I am open enough to consider what it is attempting to tell me.


There is a certain beauty working in this way. It forces me to think critically about what I can do in my work. In my mind, problem solving is a huge element of art making and finding the “answers” is what keeps me going. I often find that the minute one question within the clay has been answered more new ones have arisen in the firing process. 

I am drawn to atmospheric methods of firing due to the variation they create. No two works will ever be alike. Each vessel serves as a recording of the time and place in which it was created. From the limitations of the soft clay from which it was thrown, to the place it resided in the kiln for the firing, each piece is indicative of the process by which it was created.


I am inspired by pottery traditions in Japan, Korea, British Slipware, and the Leach Tradition. I also often find myself focusing on architectural elements and the crossover between it and my work. Primarily within the materiality that is paramount in Brutalism and the commonality and the beautifully crafted daily objects Arts and Crafts Movement. Yet above all my desire is for my work to coax into being a reverence for beautiful, well-crafted everyday objects.


Connect with Nate


Facebook:  Saunders Pottery

Instagram:  @SaundersPottery