Artist: Nathan Willever
Nathan Willever, PENNSYLVANIA
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The clay and glazes I use for my pots have been developed using local, un-processed materials through research and testing. I knew there had been a rich tradition of potters working in the Philadelphia region making lead glazed slipware, and by the early 18th century salt glazed stoneware. Areas with a history of pottery making have always had a source of good clay.
In 2018 I was able to find a source of refractory stoneware clay that is high in iron. I hand-dig and process my own clay from a sand mine and soil blending company called Stancills. Located near the north-eastern corner of the Chesapeake River, the “Marlboro Clay” was deposited in the region by a shallow marine environment during the late Paleocene period, around 55 million
years ago. Wood firing the clay often brings out “Bizen” style surfaces. The coarse nature helps produce the “Gohonde”, or firefly-like spots seen on the reduction fired work.
Once I found the clay, I moved onto developing glazes that highlight it. The most important glaze material is what I call Mineral Hill feldspar. I found this rock by researching feldspar mines that were in use during the early 19th century. Mineral Hill is located in Media, Pennsylvania. This area was briefly used as a soda feldspar mine. After collecting the rock, it is first calcined to 1700 degrees, then crushed in a ball mill for use in the glazes. Wood ash, a by-product from
wood firing, is sifted and used in conjunction with the feldspar to achieve my Nuka and Mineral Hill green ash glaze.
Using these unprocessed, “wild” materials has influenced how I make pots. It has produced surfaces that will age and develop over time, much like the pots from Korea, Japan and Europe that I have found inspiration from for years. My hope is that the pots show where they come from while being influenced by traditions from many cultures.
Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine — Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, 2011
LONG TERM RESIDENCIES
Resident Artist, The Clay Studio of Philadelphia, 2017- present
SHORT TERM RESIDENCIES
2019- Summer Resident- Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts
2018- Guest Artist - Shigaraki Ceramic Culture Park - Shigaraki, Japan
GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS& AWARDS
2019- Rudy Autio Fund for Creative Initiatives
2019- Wingate Summer Scholarship - Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts
2019- Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist
2018- Zeldin Family Foundation Fellow - The Clay Studio
2018- Founders Award- “Strictly Functional Pottery National”
2015- The Belvedere Fund - Maine College of Art
2019- George School- “Mountain Time” Work made at The Archie Bray Foundation
2018- The Clay Studio- “Nathan Willever - From The Source- Zeldin Fellowship Exhibition”
2019- Akar Design- “Americano Innovational”
2019- Claymakers- “Steinfest”
2019-Archie Bray at the Kolva-Sullivan Gallery
2019- Archie Bray Foundation Resident Artist Exhibition, Bray Warehouse Gallery
2019- Young Guns and Geezers- Neighborhood Potters
2019- The Clay Studio Gallery Expo at NCECA “Everyday Ordinary: Art of the People”
2018- Market House Craft Center- “Strictly Functional Pottery National” - Founders Award
2018- Chester Springs Studio- “Celebrating Clay”
2018- Claymakers- “Steinfest”
2018- GoggleWorks, “Permanent Residency”
2018- Dow Studio, Code: Craft
2018- The Clay Studio, “Casting Shadows” Pittsburgh NCECA
2018- Pewabic, “On The Rocks”
2018- Cameo And TeaplusArt Gallery, “Texas Teapot Tournament”
2017- The Clay Studio, “A Modern Farmhouse Holiday”
2017- Market House Craft Center- “Strictly Functional Pottery National”
2017- Claymakers- “Steinfest”
2017- Jane Hartsook Gallery “Teapot”
2017-Clay Art Center- Redux-Transformation
2016-Market House Craft Center- “Strictly Functional Pottery National “
2016- Dow Studio, “Hand Crafted”
2015- Clay Art Center, Clay Holiday
2015- ArtProv Gallery, MECA Ceramics Alumni Exhibition
2014- Dow Studio, “From Away”
2013- Group Pug: Maine Potters at the River Arts
2019- From Storage to Studio: The Clay Studio Resident Artists Explore the Philadelphia Museum of art collection.
2019- Everyday Ordinary : Art of the People
2019- Pottery Marking Illustrated, “Pitcher Thrown in Two Parts” May/ June Issue
2019- Pitcher and Plate, Ceramics Monthly May Issue, Emerging Artist Section
2019- Pitchers and Yunomi Group, Ceramics Monthly, NCECA Guide
2017- Plates, Cay Times Spring/Summer Issue, “Gallery” and “Great Glazes” sections
2015- Platter, Ceramics Monthly March Issue “Upfront” Section
Instructor, The Clay Studio - 2017- present
Instructor, Main Line Art Center - 2017- present
Instructor, Community Art Center- 2017- present
Instructor, Studio Based Learning, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, 2017 -2018
Instructor, Materials & Processes: Woodfire, Oxbow School of Art, 2017-2018
Teaching a two week workshop with Salvador Jimenez-Flores in 2017 and Ben Lambert in 2018 firing the Catenary wood kiln.
Instructor/ Wood-fire leader, Tyler Park Center for the Arts, 2017-present
Leading wood firings in a Manabigama style kiln.
Instructor, Feed Your Soul, Maine College of Art — 2015-2017
Teaching a four day workshop for high school art teachers on wheel throwing techniques.