For the month of September, Maine Potters Market features a special selection of Barbara Walch’s work from 1975 to the present. Barbara has chosen pieces from her collection that were significant enough for her to keep for memories and posterity, and for future reference. Now she wonders. "Maybe posterity is now" and she willing to let these old friends go to others who can enjoy them.
Barbara explains: “These pots represent a reflection on my years of making pottery, showing the different kinds of work that I have done over time. I have always focused on hand-building, most often the pinch technique. There are some fragile blackware pieces, fired to trap carbon for the deep black color, and large sculptural vessels as well as stoneware pinch pots inlaid with porcelain.”
She adds, “The functional stoneware that you see in my regular display here at Maine Potters Market has always been my bread and butter. I still fire to about 2350 degrees F in the kiln I built in Thorndike, Maine in 1989. Occasionally I do a cone 10 saggar fire to produce one of a kind vitrified blackware pieces and am also making one of a kind shino glazed pinch pots.”
ABOUT BARBARA WALCH — Barbara majored in sculpture in college, but came to love pottery. To find out if she could make a career of that love, she spent 6 years at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY. There she made life-long friends and met her future business partner, Leslie Ferrin. In 1979 they opened Pinch Pottery a store in Northampton, MA with another partner, Mara Superior. Shortly after that, they opened East Street Clay Studio in Hadley MA with a total of 7 potters sharing work space and kilns.
Barbara finally chose making pottery over selling and promoting at Pinch Pottery. In 1989 she made the move to her own studio in Thorndike, ME. Barbara’s work was sold nationally for many years, and now is only available in Maine and two other galleries in New England. She has work in the collections of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. and the Racine Art Museum in Racine, Wisconsin as well as in many private collections.