Functional and fun; handmade pottery for home, kitchen and garden
Where we're from. Where we're going
A few years back I received this really cool t-shirt, the image was a white lightning bolt between blue and red accents that stated simply, Grateful Dad. It was a fine Father’s Day gift from my children. And yes, as a music fan, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. So, to celebrate this feeling of gratitude Grateful Dad Pottery began with the abundant love and support from our family. Our mission is to create beautiful stoneware for your kitchen, home and garden.
Why did I choose to work in clay? The simple response is connection. Clay connects our past to the present, marking time while being timeless. We deeply value this sense of durability and comfort. Shaping beautiful and functional objects humbly promise an enduring future. Even with technical advances in programmable kilns, glaze chemistry and kiln atmosphere monitoring, there’s still some magic going on at over 2200 degrees.
Looking back, I have played with clay most of my life. I grew up in a home overlooking the Willamette River. Kids dug clay out of the riverbanks, made mud baths, and had some wicked clay fights (stings when there’s too much sand in it). Many crude sculptures were left to bake in the sun. I give abundant credit to a fabulous high school ceramics teacher, John Lortz, who encouraged artistic and technical exploration. My belated apologies for skipping English to hang out in the studio. Through this teacher's support, I continued to learn and grow, eventually teaching high school ceramics myself.
Our current studio began 2015 while day touring. We drove by a small-town pottery supply store. I don’t recall the exact reason why we stopped but we did…and brought home a fussy 30-year-old updraft gas kiln. We currently fire natural gas and electric kilns.
A sign on our door reads, "I'm on the second leg of a return trip home to being me." Whether exploring on a road trip or a day hike, I've usually got to see what's around the corner. This curiosity finds support in our studio. It's fully equipped and full of projects in various stages of completion. In early 2020 (now referred to as the "before times") we added classes for those who want the complete experience of making and glazing their own pottery. Weather depending, classes take place in either our studio or the adjacent garden space.
Though this site shares mostly functional ware we frequently attend to custom orders. If you can think it, we can likely make it happen.
Michael and Liz McKinney