About Eric Hahn
I am a potter living on a small, wooded farm in the hills of Western Pennsylvania, where the influence of nature guides my hands. I began gardening and pottery at a very early age, and I continue to work, some thirty years later, developing my skills and designs.
I enjoy hands-on work and nature immensely. These, in turn, have guided my life and my craft, which is heavily influenced by the seasons.
In the summer, I often work outside and focus on making slipware, a term for pottery crafted from a deep red clay, which is then coated with a yellow white clay called slip. By carving and drawing through the slip, the decoration is revealed by the red clay. I use this technique to create functional pottery of all shapes and sizes. Like all of my work, the pots are completely food safe and exceptionally sturdy.
During the winter months, I shift to making pots for my wood burning kiln. I craft these pots from a local stoneware clay and a coat of a colorful glaze made from wood ashes and ground quartz. The recipe for these glazes comes from medieval Japanese potters who were also influenced by nature and Buddhist aesthetics.
The kiln uses approximately one cord of arm length sized sticks for each firing. I pick these up on my walks in the woods around my house and fire the kiln once I have gathered enough.
All aspects of these pots have a local connection. I even made my kiln from bricks I scrapped from abandoned steel furnaces in Pittsburgh. The wood firings usually run for about 20 – 30 hrs. and are finished when the kiln reaches white heat (aprox. 2400 degrees Fahrenheit). Although each pot requires an immense amount of work, I thoroughly enjoy the entire process.