Surrendered to the Mystery: Village Potter Judi Harwood

Village Potter Judi Harwood is a ceramic artist with many creative pathways. She regularly throws a variety of beautiful vessels, and every once in a while she departs into sculpture. But whatever Judi is doing she ultimately surrenders all her work to the mysteries of fire, flame, temperature, and atmosphere.

Most days you will find Judi fully engaged with the clay at her wheel. The rest of the world fades away and it’s just her and the clay. Her entire creative process is a spiritual one. She invites the Holy Spirit to be present and be fully engaged in her process. 

When Judi prepares her pots to fire them, she is in explorer mode, creating a variety of oxides, mica, organic materials like banana peels and corn husks and even copper wire. All these materials are placed randomly on her pots to create varying and exciting mystical surfaces. 

After Judi builds up her materials onto her vessels it is then that she surrenders the pieces to the fire. This is when mystery becomes beauty. Each pot tells its own story. Each vessel has its own random and varying surface. When Judi is studying her work as it cools, she discovers each one’s own magic. “The very mystery of alternative firing is what inspires me,” says Judi. “I love the ‘always trying something new part’, and not knowing exactly what will happen,” Judi says. 

Not all of her pieces survive the extreme firing process, but the ones that do make it all worth it. No two pots are ever the same, and Judi fully embraces this. In fact she is captivated by all of it!

You can see and purchase Judi’s vessels during our Multi Kiln Opening Online Sale that begins Nov 16th on our website.