Dave and Susan Butterfield are the owners of Butterfield Pottery. Dave has been working professionally in pottery for over 25 years. Susan who is an accomplished painter does all the beautiful designs on the pottery.
Nature and its’ amazing wildlife give them inspiration each day. The clay between the hands gives them the physical and spiritual connection to the earth. Making pottery that is both functional and beautiful has been their lifelong pursuit.
Dave’s father was a potter in Massachusetts and Ohio during the 70’s. Dave found much enjoyment being in the studio as a child. He loved watching and helping his father handle the pottery.
Their work has evolved into 4 distinct styles.
They built a wood kiln that was designed to fire each kind of work in one firing event. Each firing could hold up the 400 pieces!
Depending on the desired effect, a specific level in the kiln is needed.
Here’s how it works:
200lbs of salt is used at the highest point of temperature reached (which is 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit). The fire box is below the stacking chamber at the bottom of the kiln. The salt vapor rises through the pottery and creates the heaviest salt glaze at the bottom shelves of the kiln and then tapers to a light salt at the top of the kiln near the exit flue.
The first layer holds the heavy salted early American inspired cookware often with added ash glaze or iron saturates.
The second level, slightly less salted, holds white slip decorated stoneware with no applied glaze. Those pieces feel like beach sand. They are brown and speckled with a watery sheen.
The third level is incised porcelain with applied transparent colored glazes of yellow, green and blue. They often have carved imaged of birds, fish and floral patterns.
The very top of the kiln is reserved for porcelain oxide brushed vases and serving dishes. These are the pieces Susan decorates.
She gives them a depth by using atmospheric wood-ash, salt vapors and oxide shino glazes.
They are also using a gas fire reduction kiln in beautiful blue and green glazes. This technique is what’s used for the spectacular cobalt blue and earthy greens/browns tones that you see here in the gallery.
We just love the buttery smooth feel of Butterfield Pottery and the richness in the colors and artwork on these pieces.
One of our favorite things about their work, besides the outstanding quality and beauty, is that they are microwave, dishwasher and oven safe! These are pieces that are meant to be used and enjoyed every day, not put away and only used at special events.