I first started working in clay during the summer of 2001 and quickly became obsessed with the medium. I eventually learned the process through what could either be considered a very traditional, or a very non-traditional way. I did not follow the “modern tradition” of studying ceramics at a university–I actually studied History and Archaeology which was my introduction and led to my initial fascination with ceramics. I learned ceramics by putting myself through a rather makeshift modern equivalent of an apprenticeship. Through working with, or for, a lot of different artists, I learned a wide variety of techniques and processes. This culminated in a trip to China in 2005 where I traveled to Jingdezhen, Yixing, and around the Southern regions of China visiting studios and working with the local materials.
With my initial fascination in pottery being the ancient works of Greece, Rome, and Asia, a strong ancient aesthetic has been strongly imprinted on my work. Most can easily recognize the aesthetic, but most miss the functional practicality of my work. I enjoy the idea that people can touch, hold, and use my work rather than simply looking at it hang on the wall. I feel a teapot never used to serve a cup of tea has been denied its soul.
One day, in need of a hobby, I decided to take a pottery class at my local recreation center. I am now a teacher at that same center–Bicentennial Recreation Center, in Aurora, CO. It is a great pleasure to see the curiosity and technical advancement of students of this ancient process, and it is humbling to think of the great tradition I am helping to foster and pass on.
Although my focus is in clay, I also do work in wood, metal, and glass. In much of my work one will notice an intertwining of processes. It is not uncommon to see dovetails and rivets in my ceramic work, and I really enjoy the “cross-pollination” of ideas and techniques.
To learn more about Shane, please visit his website at www.porterpotteryonline.com.