JARS of Clay
Getting to know Joshua Read and his business, JARPottery.
Why did you decide to start making pottery?
I started JARPottery 3 years ago after finishing school. I was working in construction at the time but my wife and I felt it was time to do something new. A friend of mine, Linda Barker, graciously donated her late husband's pottery equipment the year before and we felt God leading us to take the step of starting my own business.
How long have you been making pottery?
I started making pots in high school about 13 years ago. The funny thing about this is I used to hate art. I was ready to quit art and not take another art class but I needed something to fill my schedule and everyone loved this teacher, Mr. Holmes. It was the first time I worked on a pottery wheel and I fell in love. I ended up going to college and getting a degree in art and now I make pots for a living all because of that teacher and that class. In that class I found that clay was in my blood and making things with clay made me come alive.
What all do you make?
I make a lot of mugs. I work with a non-profit organization called Warzone Initiatives that works to bring clean water and relief to war torn areas around the world and I donate a portion of my proceeds from my mug sales for that so I make lots of mugs. I also make a lot of commercial ware, mugs, bowls, sponge holders, kitchenware, vases, etc. I am expanding my work and creating a line of pit-fired artwork that will be debuting in an art show at the Highland Art Center in June up in Weaverville.
How do you make your pieces?
All my work is hand thrown on the wheel. I currently fire electric, cone 6 but through a recent donation of a gas kiln, I am looking to expand doing gas firings. I also do pit firing for my artwork.
What’s been your favorite part about making pottery?
Wow, there's a lot that I like to do. I like making work, running the business side of it and teaching people pottery. If I had to pick a favorite, my favorite part is designing new pieces. I love the part of wrestling an idea in your head and bringing it to reality to create a piece that is beautiful, functional and works with other pieces. It is both challenging and rewarding.
Where do you sell your products?
I mostly sell my work at art fairs in Northern California and at different coffee shops and art galleries around the area. I sell some work online and am looking to boost my online presence this year. All the fairs and locations of my store can be found on my website, www.jarpottery.com. You can also follow me on social media on facebook, twitter and instagram @jarpottery. I have a YouTube channel I will be starting later this year so follow me to find out when that will be coming.