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Project

Fitzgerald Pottery

Introduction

Traditional artisans Mark and Hyunh Mai Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Pottery create distinctive pieces of pottery in their central Pennsylvania studio. Mark learned the craft by spending four years at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York, studying under the guidance of Henry Okamoto, a Japanese-American master potter. He works mainly on the potter's wheel, while his wife, Huynh Mai, does most of the hand building and glazing. These tasks often overlap, and both share equally in the entire process.

Canteen Teapot
Each part of the teapot is thrown on the pottery wheel separately, then trimmed and assembled using a combo of the wheel and hand-forming techniques to join pieces.

Tall Oval Vase
The vase is made by throwing a tall cylindrical form; after hours of drying, it's altered to form an oval. A slab bottom is attached and then dipped into a combination of glazes.

Pitcher
The pitcher is thrown on wheel. The spout is formed immediately after the forming process. The pieces are all trimmed on the bottoms; handles are pulled and attached.

Large Serving Platter
The platter, which is 19 inches in diameter, is thrown on a wheel using a 15-pound lump of clay. After it's dry, it is trimmed and a foot rim is made and attached to the bottom on the wheel. The rim of the piece is then carved out, and the handles are attached. It's glazed using a combination of glazing techniques that require dipping and spraying the glaze.

Soup Tureen with Ladle
The bowl and lid are formed on a wheel, trimmed, and a pedestal is added to the bowl. Handles are then pulled and attached to both the bowl and lid. The ladle is made of an altered bowl shape and pulled handle that are then joined. It's coated with a combination of wood ash glazes.

Resources
For more information, visit fitzgeraldpottery.com.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, March 2008

Reviews (4)

  • Grace08 1 Apr, 2008

    I was thrilled to see this segment since I'm taking my first pottery class now. I doubt I'll ever be able to make anything like the Fitgerald's do but seeing these artisans at work is one of the top reasons I tune in each day.

  • georgiatenore 30 Mar, 2008

    They Clay Art Center where Mark Fitzgerald studied pottery is still teaching classes in Port Chester, New York and is a comunity clay center celebrating it's fiftith anniversary. Check out the classes for all ages and the special visiting artist workshops. clayartcenter.org

  • HarrietandGeorge 29 Mar, 2008

    I grew up very close to the Fitzgeralds Studio. My husband and I will be married 17 years this June and received many gifts for our wedding and Christmas that came from their talented hands. We use bowls, mugs and serving pieces daily. Martha, this is a Good Thing!

  • animalloverjan 27 Mar, 2008

    This was a fantastic part of your show today. The Fitzgeralds are master potters. Their work brings back memories of my college days in pottery class. Thanks for having them on.