Kenneth G. Merrill, a potter for more than two decades, is still fascinated by clay. A potter's life is solitary - lots of time spent in the studio by yourself. So, after 15 years working alone in the studio, Ken opened a gallery so he could meet and get to know his customers. That was five years ago, and Canyon Creek has has grown into a colorful showcase of cups, plates, bowls, lamps, sinks and more.
Ken started making pottery in high school in Portland, Oregon. In 1985, he took a production pottery job, thinking he would make a few pots and then go get a real job. He has been doing pottery ever since, and has perfected his shapes and glazes.
Throwing is the term used to describe a piece being created on the potter's wheel. Wedged clay is positioned in the center of the wheel and is pulled and shaped by the potter's hands and tools as the wheel turns. Throwing consistently is a challenge for beginning potters. It takes years of experience to throw good pottery.
"At first I felt like the clay had most of the control," Ken said. "At times the clay had a mind of its own. After 20 years, I feel like I finally have mastered the art of throwing. The clay picks up part of everything you do to it, and it's reflected in the final result. Throwing is the magical part of making pottery."
Pottery is both beautiful to look at and functional. It's durable, tactile, visual. Each piece in a handmade 32-piece dish set unique, a work of art.
Ken's Large Bowl