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Design is the essence of Pat Black's process and originates in her sketchbook. After a piece is thrown on the wheel and trimmed, the carving of the design begins. Birch tree pots are painted with a colored slip while the clay is still wet. Once the pieces are air dried, they go through the bisque firing. From here, waxes are applied so that various colors of glaze can be used and the inlay areas are protected so that the surface remains unglazed for the application of the natural elements after the glaze firing.
Nature is Black's focus and she often bring in natural elements that are gathered in the Northwoods or the beaches of the Great Lakes. It is her hope the tranquil peace found in nature is reflected in her work. The entire process of creating a piece of pottery is a reminder of where life is centered, she believes creativity is a gift to be shared.