Allison Coles Severance: Wood-Fired Salt Glazed Pottery   •   Bio & Statement

Artist's Statement

I finish my pots in my wood salt kiln because I love exploring the element of controlled chance. And I have always been intrigued with, and admired and respected the mystical surfaces of pots decorated by fire, ash and salt. It is important to me not only to carry on the tradition of creating pots using traditional and historical techniques, but to work within the traditional role of the potter and make engaging, well-crafted useful pots. My pots are meant to be sincere and honest. They are meant to be companions and good to live with. They are created to have a job, to be used and held in the hand. I hope my pots enhance and add pleasure to the daily rituals of not only preparing, sharing and enjoying food, but gathering food from the garden as well. My pots are all about food, kitchen, home and hopefully a celebration of family and traditions.


Allison grew up on a working farm in rural Howard County, Maryland. She received an Associatesí Degree in Art from Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland and studied Painting and Printmaking and Art Education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. For several years she stayed at home raising two children. She returned to college to study Art History (and took a ceramics class as an elective) and received a BA in Art from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Pottery experience includes an apprenticeship with Bill vanGilder in Gapland, Maryland and John Thies in Frederick, Maryland. She was also the assistant Director of the Ceramics Program at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.

Allison established her first pottery and built a single chamber catenary arch wood kiln in Boonsboro, Maryland in 2003. In 2012 she relocated to Cascade, Maryland where she currently makes pots and fires in a bourry box wood and salt kiln. She is also a workshop presenter and ceramics instructor at the Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia and the Clay Co-Op in Rockville, Maryland. .

Her pots have been included in numerous national and international exhibitions, including Salzbrand Keramics in Germany, and the Orton Cone Box Show and the Strictly Functional Show here in the states. Allison has been included in numerous publications, including the current issue of New Ceramics (scroll down when you get to their page), Clay Times Magazine, Ceramics Monthly, the Log Book International Wood Fire Magazine and Salzbrand Keramics 2004. Her pots are available at her studio in Maryland and at Gifts Inn Boonsboro in Boonsboro, Maryland and District Clay in Washington, D.C.