Highfield Pottery   •   Allison Coles Severance

“My pots are thrown on an old kick wheel and fired in our wood salt kiln. I enjoy finishing my pots in the 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 to make functional pots that are engaging and well-crafted – pots that have a job and are used and held by many hands and hopefully enhancing or adding pleasure to the daily rituals of preparing, sharing and enjoying food. I hope the natural wood fired and salt glazed surfaces of my pots are warm and friendly and send out a visual invitation to be held in the hand.”

Allison grew up on a farm in rural Howard County, Maryland and received an Associates’ Degree in Art from Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. She studied Painting and Printmaking and Art Education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia 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.

Allison established her first pottery and built her first single chamber catenary arch wood kiln in Boonsboro, Maryland. In 2012 she relocated to Cascade, Maryland where she makes pots and fires in the new bourry box wood and salt kiln. She has taught at the the Frederick Clay Studio and the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center in Frederick, Maryland and the Workhouse Art Center in Lorton, Virginia. Currently she teaches at the Art League in Alexandria, Virginia. To register for one of Allison’s classes, please visit the Art League Course Search

Her pots have been included in numerous national and international exhibitions, including Salzbrand Keramics in Germany, the Orton Cone Box Show and the Strictly Functional Show here in the states. Allison has been included in numerous publications, including: Clay Times Magazine; Ceramics Monthly; The Log Book, International Wood-Fired Ceramics Publication; and Salzbrand Keramics 2004.

Allison has led numerous wood firing workshops and enjoys nothing more than teaching pottery making and sharing the joy of clay. To schedule Allison for a workshop at your clay facility, contact her at Allison@AllisonSeverancePottery.com or 240.446.9552.