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.
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.
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.
For more information, visit fitzgeraldpottery.com.