Leadership Profile

Artist-in-Residence Lectures on ‘Ceramic Terroir: Pots and Place’

Cedar Crest College’s new Artist-in-Residence, Willi Singleton, will give a free public lecture titled, “Ceramic Terroir: Pots and Place,” on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in the 1867 Room of Tompkins College Center.

Willi Singleton

Connoisseurs of wine have long considered the relationship between a wine and its place of origin to be significant. Ceramic Terroir is an attempt to carry this idea of “connection to place” into the realm of pottery. Borrowing this term “terroir,” and thinking of ceramic forms in relation to their place of origin, will be the focus of this talk.

Willi Singleton sees his pots as expressions of the landscape surrounding Hawk Mountain, where he lives. The clay body is Hawk Mountain mixed with a Chesapeake clay, and the glazes are produced from the forests, fields and creeks wrapped around it.

“Reducing certain species of plants growing in a specific area to ash, and using those ashes to glaze clays from that locale, can create a rich expression of the ceramic terroir of that place,” said Singleton, who has been potting at the base of Hawk Mountain for more than a quarter century, utilizing local materials and firing a four-chamber climbing kiln with wood.

After graduating from Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington in the early 1980s with a B.A. in visual arts, Singleton spent the next six years in Japan studying as an apprentice to several prominent ceramic artists. As owner of Pine Creek Pottery, he travels regularly to Japan, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C., to show his art at exhibitions, and he has also held exhibitions locally, including at Allentown Art Museum.

For information on the Willi Singleton lecture at Cedar Crest College, call 610-606, 4666, ext. 3594.