Sierra Ceramics is the work of artist and art educator Joe Taylor. Joe lives and works in Kings Beach, Ca on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Joe's work is an exploration in play and self expression inspired by his personal adventures and his time working with children. He is interested in activities that initiate immersive experiences which allow for one's sense of self to dissolve. It is in this flow state that he can access playfulness, perseverance, humility and new perspectives. In moments of solitude, like that of the desert or a late night studio session, Joe allows time to slow down enough to activate a sense of wonder in the world.
Joe makes functional and sculptural ceramics with a variety of fuel burning kilns. Most recently he has undertaken the construction of a 30 cubic foot downdraft salt kiln at his family studio in Walker Lake, NV. This kiln uses propane to bring the temperature to 2300 degrees, at which point table salt is introduced to the chamber and vaporized into the atmosphere as a glaze. The salt glaze covers all of the walls, shelves and pots on the inside of the kiln which leaves a beautiful and unpredictable food safe finish on all of the work.
Its been a long and busy road, but at last I am finding its end. Well, perhaps the road will not exactly end, but rather send me into new directions. This October marked the 9th Biennial Jack Stoke Pit fire at my family Studio in Walker Lake, NV. We had about thirty people from various circles in the Reno/Tahoe area. We piled pots in our giant pit and created one heck of a fire. The pottery came out great and a good time was had by all.
Following the pit fire, this November break marked my 5th salt firing in Walker Lake, NV. The work was 99% my own, but it was still a communal effort. Cat and I glazed for three straight days. My Father, Larry and Walt were on hand to cut, move, clean or do anything else that was needed in a pinch. And of course, my mother was busy dreaming up new ways to tame our hunger and tantalize our tastebuds. Really I would have a hard time firing this kiln without all of these people, and I am forever grateful for their help.
The work that came out of the last Salt Kiln firing was wonderful and makes up much of the new work that is for sale on this website. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I do. I look forward to sharing the results and happy accidents of many more firings to come.
This February 2018 I will go fire a wood salt kiln with Joe Winter and others in Red Rock, NV and then head out to Hawthorne to fire my Salt kiln for the 6th time. I like to call this a double whammy pottery week, which is sure to produce a bunch of new pots unlike any other. Stay tuned.