William Baker


Square Bottle. William Baker, William Baker Pottery. 2008.


Dinner Plate. Linda McFarling, Linda McFarling Pottery. Date unknown.

Maker /Collector Statement

Square Bottle
When I send pottery out into the world I want my best work to represent me, which means that the ones I choose to keep have a meaning other than simply being the “best” pots.  Some keepers are chosen to symbolize a particular kiln or firing, serving as a reminder for me of that time and place. Although this piece does represent to me the first wood soda kiln I built for myself and learned to fire, I also see it as a high water mark. As I refine a form over the years I can often pick out one particular pot that shows that form at its best, as this bottle does. When I am working on the next round of pots I use these keepers as my goals to aim for, always feeling that the next one I make will leave a new high water mark. 

Dinner Plate
Linda McFarling was one of my first mentors in the clay world. I was drawn to the beauty of her quiet pots and drawn into the world of atmospheric firings. Working with Linda taught me about the technical issues of firing with salt and soda, but in hindsight I realize I learned more than technical skills from my time in her studio. Linda’s dedication to her high standards gave me the confidence to maintain my own high standards, even if my eyes are the only ones that see the distinctions. Handling the pots we have of hers over the years also helped me to understand that the pots we make can be extensions of the makers. When I use this plate now the physical qualities of the pottery, the beautiful craftsmanship and great firing surface, are not the first things that come to mind. My thoughts turn first to the qualities of the potter; I think of one’s dedication to their craft and appreciation of beauty, of their generosity and kindness. I feel richer for knowing these people rather than for the objects we have collected.

William Baker