HI— AND THANKS FOR VISITING ifpottery.
Our intention is to bridge creative exploration with practical utility. We are focused on making— and making available to you— lovely and affordable ceramic tableware that can become a part of your everyday life.
We hope you enjoy our work— and look forward to hearing from you.
Everything you see is hand-built in our studio in small batches. All our pieces are formed from clay slabs rolled out on an aptly named slab roller. Think of a giant pasta machine.
Shapes are hand cut and finessed into their final form. Seams are fused into place with a clay slip. After controlled drying (to prevent cracking) this very fragile state is called ‘greenware’.
A nice aside about working with clay is that up to this point any scraps or mistakes are 100% reusable…just add H2O and elbow grease.
The greenware goes into the kiln for its first firing. For the high-fire porcelainized clay we use this first firing takes about 20 hours to reach a temp of around 1850F and another 12 hours to cool down enough to handle.
Each piece is then examined for quality and then, one by one, each is dipped in our house-made glaze, which has the consistency of cream. Air-dried, the ‘glaze-ware’ is ready for its final trip to the kiln, and another firing to around 2300F this time, which bonds the glaze to the clay body, resulting in a satin glasslike surface. Now vitrified, these glaze-ware pieces have shrunk in size about 14%. Once cooled, the bottoms get sanded so they sit level and are smooth to the touch.
John Morse is the potter. One way or another he has been immersed in art throughout his life. He retired in 2018 after a successful creative career with the big red bullseye in Minneapolis. Formed in 2015, ifpottery is now his full-time thing when he’s not feeding hummingbirds or looking at weird bugs.
Husband (and unpaid clay assistant) Joe was an architect, and together their creative energies are (also) directed towards growing food on the land, and nurturing and protecting the surrounding mesa-top wilderness.
SO…“ifpottery”…WERE YOU DRUNK WHEN YOU CAME UP WITH THAT NAME?
Funny! Back before if… when we were still contemplating if we should form a studio; if it could bring some joy; if we could pull it all off… When we came around to …if not now then when— that’s when we had ourselves a studio— and a name. (Some drinking then may have been involved.)
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED— CAN I STOP BY SOMETIME?
Our home and studio is 500′ above and overlooks the Pecos river valley in northern New Mexico USA. At a 6300′ elevation, the wilderness surroundings can be described as a high-desert piñon-juniper savannah. It can also be described as paradise.
For a couple of city-boys…you can hardly pry us down from here.
About 50min from Santa Fe, the cliff road up to the mesa top and road <cow-path> across it can be interesting, so casual visits aren’t on the menu. However, if you are up for an adventure, give a shout and let’s maybe work something out.
WHAT ARE YOU MAKING?
The work reflects an aesthetic for simple modern forms, as well as an appreciation for pared-down and accessible possessions. What seems to be simple construction belies what has become a practice of intentional minimalism.
Lightweight and surprisingly durable, the imperfectly soft forms practically beg to be touched and to be held.
We see these pieces as a conversation between the material expressing its nature and a pair of hands revealing the forms.