Sunday, December 2, 2012

The crafted object : Adero Willard – ceramicist

Check it out! I've updated my website, and my Etsy Site. Read further for a special Etsy offer. 

What gets me through the holiday season, besides spending as much time as possible in the studio. Listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Comedy podcasts have been a big hit lately, and I have been enjoying listening to interviews, sketches, and riffs. My favorites right now are the Long Shot podcast, Cashing in with T.J. Miller, and You Made it Weird. I feel a connection to comedians. They have chosen a lifestyle, where they create something that we need but don't need, and they like to make people happy. I have also been listening to John le Carré's, Tinker Tailor Soldier, Spy on audio book, which I have also read before, watched on BBC, and whatever other versions available.

Check out a great blog, and read an article written by Julie Gibbons, creator of  the blog  contemporary craft, surface design, photography, and the stories behind the art. She just wrote and article about my work and influences as a potter. "The crafted object : Adero Willard – ceramicist"

Julie Gibbons writes a blog that discusses " contemporary craft, surface design, photography, and the stories behind the art". 
Also, I am on my way to the studio to glaze my last pots for Craft Boston Holiday. Here are a couple of teaser process pictures. I hope they make it through the next two kiln firings.

Come visit me at Craft Boston this weekend to see the finished pieces.

If you have read this far down. I also want to extend to you free shipping on my Etsy site. When you purchase something, just type in "AderoHoliday" ( without quotation marks).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Where to shop this year

Some great gift ideas for the holidays and beyond. More to come...


Check out Jeffrey Lipton's pots at
Here is an excerpt from Jeffrey's artist statement. " Jeffrey Lipton combines illustration with utilitarian ceramics. His images are drawn from his life experience in rural New England. The scenes depict people at work and the tools of their trades. The characters are often farmers, lumberjacks, or carpenters in pursuit of good lives in a rural setting.  As a potter, Lipton creates ceramic forms that are dual purpose — functional and decorative — designed for everyday use and as a canvas for his drawings. Working with stoneware and wood firing process, the final result integrates form, function, and lifestyle."
From Tandem Glass at

Want to have the prettiest funnest glass ever? These make amazing gifts if you can actually part with them to give them away. I have eight of them of varying sizes use them every day, from water to wine.

Hand blown glass with unique colorful elements. These glasses have a sexy irregularity that speaks to the hand made process. Durable Beautiful Made in America by the Designer. Opulence for the irreverent!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give a handmade gift this year.

My Etsy Store is back (thanks for your patience!) 
In appreciation of all the support I have received from fellow artists and patrons, I am pleased to be providing an online preview of the work I will show at CraftBoston Holiday show (I'll be in booth 108A). This is a unique chance to buy a handmade gift for you or someone special before I pack up the van for CraftBoston! Visit my Etsy store with this link.  
Enter the code " AderoHoliday " (no quotation marks) in the check-out portion of the shopping cart to get FREE SHIPPING on any purchase. This offer is good for one week, starting on Black Friday (Nov 23 – 30), so I hope you will take advantage of this great gift-giving opportunity. Everything is truly one of a kind.

Upcoming Workshop at Mudflat Studio in Somerville
I will be conducting a workshop entitled "Create pots for your decoration, create decoration for your pots." Students with any level of experience in clay are welcome to enroll and participate. There will be demonstrations, discussion, and some hands-on type to explore the different techniques I will showcase. Learn more about it here.

Please stay in touch throughout the new year
I am always adding new photos and info to my website at the new address: Also, I welcome you to keep track of my progress on new work and who-knows-what by following me here on my blog.

Thank you for your interest in handmade craft & enjoy the holiday season! Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions or would like to learn more about my work.

Adero Willard

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Speaking through surface

From the beginning I have been interested in creating a language in clay that is personal and creatively challenging.  Veiling and revealing, color, and pattern have been at the core of my story as an artist working in clay and in my personal exploration of identity, which like the way I work is about combing simple repeating patterns to create complexity. In the last few months I have begun working with sgraffito a traditional ceramics technique.  More like revealing and excavating, this process has begun to allow me to see a more representational story like quality. Still along the lines of the work I have been pursuing over the past six years, and still inspired by textiles, using the vine and flower imagery I can now manipulate patterns to react to each other in a more narrative way. I plan on pursuing this further to where I can push this imagery.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Made here and by hand.

 Kiln opening and local show.
First kiln unloading. One more to go.
I created a challenge for myself to make a body of work in a short amount of time. I wanted to make work that was a little less labor intensive, and more spontaneous.

These flasks / oil bottles are in a glaze firing now
To do this I signed up for a show with three weeks to make work. Up to this point my decoration has gotten really labor intensive. I continue to love this part of my process, partly because of  my desire to be more thoughtful and conscientious in making pots, from the form to the treatment of the surface. Recently I decided I needed a lighter more playful aspect to my  making and the pots themselves as an addition to my process. Part of this is also to do with the question of how to make thoughtful and purposeful objects by hand and also make a living. This is a challenge, as we compete with a very efficient outsourcing based society. So for now I'll try this little show and maybe I'll see you there and hopefully my pots argue my case better.  Thank you.

Amherst Crafts on the Common
this weekend!
Saturday, July 14, 2012 ● 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ● Amherst Town Common
The Amherst Town Common will come alive again for one of the best-established and most well respected craft fairs in New England as CHD's Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County puts on its 32nd annual Amherst Crafts on the Common on Saturday, July 14 from 9am - 5pm.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


As a child I could sit for hours drawing the outlines of abstract shapes and then filling them in with color. Getting lost in my imagination with the twists and turns of possible combinations, it was a world of shape and color all my own. This way of working has stayed with me throughout my life as a potter: it feels natural. Bringing dimensional form into this world has not always come as naturally. I have always had to work harder on making the pots than decorating them.

Something that has stayed with me after attending the Pottery Invitational at Worcester center for crafts was watching Rob Sieminski make pots at the demonstrations.

Rob Sieminski
He spoke about what he saw as the importance of having a harmonious connection between the process, the clay, and the earth (to use my own words). I loved watching him work, combining intuition, spontaneity, and skill. He creates beautiful sculpture and vessels that remind me of totems from ancient lands, when objects rang with spiritual energy.

My newest pots are these teacups. A play date between form and ornamentation that brings me back a little bit to those childhood shape and color combinations. 

Looking for artists who work in terracotta (as I do) and bring color, form, and fantasy to their work, I am reminded of Jenny Mendes.  I love her approach to surface design, which is so evocative through the use of narrative imagery.

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Layers

My newest work combines drawing, painting, and resist layering.
With a few different kettles on the stove, I've neglected my blog for awhile. Here is the update of what's been happening. I'm excited about my new website, which you can visit at  I hope you will check out. I don't have my Etsy site up and running yet, but hope to update that with my new work.
Not so new, but pots with some alterations:
The clay as part of the design

Combining new colors
Influenced by the forms of Betty Woodman, Molly Hatch, Stephanie DeArmondand, I made a few of these hand built forms. I really enjoyed making and decorating the three forms shown below. If I make more, would like to spend more time considering  form and surface in other ways. 

In order to continue to stay excited about clay and the pots I make, I need to make time to consider new ways of working. This can be hard at times as, to be honest, making a living with pots quickly can become like an assembly line. While production can be enjoyable, satisfying, and even create ingenuity, I find joy and feel energized when I make opportunities for creativity and play. 
The cup below came from the desire to create a resting space from decoration on on my pieces. Here is what I came up with. And yes, I know, there actually is no resting space. 

Finger painting, drawing and resist.
Wanted the grid area to look like a patch.

I've added a finger painting process for making the dots that is really satisfying. I would like to experiment with the materials a bit to see if I can make them blur and bleed a bit. I am currently using underglaze for the dots, but any suggestions are welcome.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ready, set, glaze!

Dinner set is ready to glaze. I'm excited to see this as a finished piece. I'm sure my commissioner will be happy too.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pondering pinch pots

 "The artist is to sing up the earth"*
A new year, new ideas, a blank slate.
Tomorrow I start teaching at Holyoke Community College. I am thankful for this opportunity for a number of different reasons. Teaching clay infuses my life with creative energy that comes from giving and learning from others. I have loved the time that I have to work alone in the studio these past few years, but am interested to see what lessons this new challenge brings to my work. As I research ideas for projects, looking at historical and contemporary ceramics, I am finding new and older inspiration to share with my students, write about in my blog, and feed into new ideas and techniques in the studio.
*Paulus Berensohn
Sitting in the sun with cats, books, and computer, thinking about pinch pot projects to teach at HCC, I started looking at Paulus Berensohn. Paulus Berensohn is clay artist and writer whose words often speak to the nurturing, spiritual, and poetic aspects of creating. I stumbled on to this interview from YouTube by  Paulus called Why we create.
*" It isn't to make a career. It isn't to be famous. It's to sing up the earth." I think that we can and have to consider the financial logistics of making a living as an artist. It is impossible not to. What strikes me when I hear Paulus Berensohn's words is continually to remember that beautiful awkward fleshy feeling that we all had when we fell in love with clay for the first time. I guess this can relate to all aspects of our lives.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The beginning of a textile adventure

After the big push to make work for shows for the holidays I find myself a bit sluggish in the studio. It doesn't help that it's dark and cold out. One thing I have found important is to remember to reload creatively. This might mean not being in the studio for a few days, and give time to reflect and tap into sources of inspiration. I started this with a trip to a second hand store to look at textiles. A little shopping can't hurt either. Here is some of what I found.

Big bold polka dots

I like going to thrift stores to look at textiles, because you can touch, and  try things on. A very different experience of seeing how a pattern stretches over the contours of the body. And like pots the clothes are there to be used, making the feel of the cloth as integral to its function as the look of it.