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Richmond, VA 23235

Sawdust fired, one-of-a kind pottery. A Kay Franz pottery website. 


Kay Franz Pottery Blog

Raw Clay

Kay Franz

The Beauty of Raw Clay...

Dominion Energy was digging underground power lines on a friend's property. My friend called me when the auger brought up this rich looking ochre clay so I'm going through a process to refine the clay; something I haven't done since college. I'm so grateful for modern conveniences but it is nice to reconnect with the roots of how this process and the effort that potters of the past had to make to get their clay and make it workable. It remains to be seen how workable this batch will be but I'm enjoying the process as it brings back some nice memories.


Filtering out contaminants.

Filtering out contaminants.

Love the color, can't wait to test this.

Love the color, can't wait to test this.

Home Studio

Kay Franz

North Window

It's been 2 years since I moved into a smaller house....smaller house, smaller studio. On the plus side I love the basement space I've allocated for my work. The east window opens to the sky. The north window opens to the north at ground level and I'm able to watch birds as they hop in and around the bush planted by that window. During daylight hours it's never ending bird tv. While smaller than my old studio, it is plenty big and the space is warmer, cozier and better lit than my old garage space. It's a happy place to be and a corner retreat. I'm still not making as much work as I thought I would be in my semi-retirement. Semi-retirement sometimes still feels a lot like full-time...

Work In Progress

After the move.

Kay Franz

After what seems like forever, I'm finally pretty settled in my new place. I've moved many times before but this move was really the perfect storm of a move. The worst is behind me and I'm finally venturing back into my studio. It's always so hard to jump back into work after a long time away from the table. The image shown is the first work in progress post move! Fireplace Tiles

Finished Work

Kay Franz

Here are the professional shots of the latest batch of work shot by Taylor Dabney.

Finished Tiles

Kay Franz


My original intent was for each of these to remain separate - mini works that I planned as prototypes for larger tiles. However during the entire process they just seemed to want to stay together. What was once separate units have merged into one piece.

If you missed it, there are earlier posts that show these at various stages.


Kay Franz


While building these latest pieces I am reminded of how much repetition goes into a creative process. I once heard an artist remark that they had essentially tried to perfect the same piece over and over throughout their entire career. I feel I am at that point too. Certain shapes, textures and images from the past keep reappearing as if trying to achieve a type of perfection. It's not so much an endless loop as it is an upward spiral, renewed in time with layers of new experiences.



Kay Franz

Here's the finished sculpture married to its wooden outgrowth. Detail shot is from last week's firing showing the piece straight out of the firing. I never like adding titles to my work but these wood/clay pieces seem to want titles. This series is inspired by all the wonderful fungi you can find growing in woodlands.


Kay Franz


I use acrylic stains to add color to my work. Years ago in an effort to have more time building pieces, I abandoned some traditional ceramic techniques. I still occasionally use glazes but since my work is non-functional I am not limited in how I finish pieces. Painting surfaces is quick and immediate and frees up more time for construction.

Eggs Nesting with Eggs

Kay Franz

GA bluebird_3eggs_02

J Ferguson Gallery in Farmville, VA carries my work. A patron that purchased some of my "Egg" pieces sent this photo. Here's a quote from her email about what happened:

"At our house in Georgia there's an outdoor fireplace on a sheltered porch, and I put my Franz ceramics on the mantel there. They looked really nice. Gradually other things joined them--an old saw my son found in the woods, an old typewriter. . . . And then, possibly inspired by my large "eggs," a bluebird family added eggs of their own to the display. My son reports that the little birds have hatched and are doing well."