50 Years and Counting: An Ode to Clay by Nancy Button at Maine Potters Market

Handmade brown and green porcelain vase

For the month of June, Maine Potters Market is featuring work by long-time member Nancy Button of Fireside Pottery.

The first clay that Nancy worked with was an earthy stoneware, and every winter she returns to its warm hues and building ease from the porcelain that has become her trademark. “Working with stoneware feels like returning to the original source, Nancy explains.”

Nancy has always been interested in texture and patterns, and this winter’s quiet time gave her ample opportunity to further explore these elements. By squaring pieces that are traditionally round, she creates four “panels“ that are then textured. By making a recessed bottom in many of these slab-built pieces, she’s able to cut subtle “feet” that animate the forms. “When I’m designing, I am actively problem solving and thinking about detail in a way that allows other concerns to drop away” Nancy commented. “It is my hope that these pots will find their ways into the hearts and homes of people, enhancing the daily rituals of their lives.”

About Nancy Button

Nancy Button’s mother found her passion for potting when Nancy was in her early teens, and clay has been Nancy’s partner and teacher for 50 years. Not only did she have a studio, kiln, and teacher through her mother, but Nancy lived with pots handmade by many different potters. This showed her that there is always a new approach or design waiting to be explored with clay. This constant refreshing keeps what she does from becoming repetitive, even when she is repeating forms. “There is a liveliness that comes through the clay if you can just get out of the way,” Nancy says.

About Maine Potters Market

Founded in 1978 by a group of potters who envisioned a cooperative market where they could sell their wares to the public and share their knowledge of pottery with customers, Maine Potters Market currently consists of thirteen Maine potters working in eleven studios throughout the state. The rich variety of handmade work available for sale keeps Maine Potters Market customers returning. June hours: Thursday – Saturday 10 – 9; Sunday – Wednesday: 10 – 6.