Kristen Swanson

Ceramics
White House Ceramic Studios
16 East Pennsylvania Avenue Lovettsville, VA 20180
Catoctin Region, Stop #5

Porcelain Tumblers in Tray
Porcelain Tumblers in Tray

Artist Statement

"Creating beautiful pottery through a process of work is like creating life where each physical day makes up profound and meaningful years." —Hannah Marshall

This observation truly captures the essence of my studio practice and life. Each day I strive to acknowledge and understand what it means to make pots and what it means to contribute to my craft, my community and my spirit.

I discovered clay as a sophomore in college twenty three years ago. It captured my heart, my intellect and my creative expression in a powerful way. I knew immediately that my life would revolve around this beautiful material. I finished my degree in elementary education all the while sneaking into the ceramic studio on campus during the wee hours of the night and spending every available moment developing my skill. I taught elementary school for two years and proceeded to Virginia Commonwealth University to study ceramics and earn my Bachelor of Fine Arts. I have devoted my life first to my family and second to my own expression through clay.

Each one-of-a-kind porcelain piece is wheel thrown on the potter's wheel or hand constructed out of clay slabs. I paint my designs with clay slip on the unfired clay body using a combination of brushwork and slip trailing. I then use a technique called sgraffito to scratch into the surface to expose the white porcelain beneath. The work is bisque fired, clear glazed, and fired a second time to 2300 degrees. Asian art has long been an influence in my work — my childhood home was filled with Asian furniture, tapestries, scroll paintings, and sculpture. I am further influenced by both traditional and contemporary textile patterns as well as traditional botanical motifs.

I am committed to functional ceramic art and want my pieces to be used in the everyday domestic landscape of people's lives. I believe that intimate contact with objects that are handmade, intentionally crafted, and beautiful can transform common experiences into meaningful experiences. All of my work is food, microwave and dishwasher safe.

Butterfly Mugs
Butterfly Mugs
Butterfly Serving Bowl
Butterfly Serving Bowl
Dogwood and Blue Blossom Vase
Dogwood and Blue Blossom Vase
Abstract Floral Serving Bowl
Abstract Floral Serving Bowl
Stacked Rice Bowls
Stacked Rice Bowls
Geometric Pattern Plate
Geometric Pattern Plate
Porcelain Boxes with Blue and Red
Porcelain Boxes with Blue and Red
Stacked Bakers
Stacked Bakers
Sugar Bowls
Sugar Bowls
Gingko and Floral Pitchers
Gingko and Floral Pitchers
Gingko Dinner Service
Gingko Dinner Service
Interior studio shot
Interior studio shot
Exterior studio shot
Exterior studio shot

Offering on tour: Hand painted and carved porcelain pottery — platters, dinnerware, pendants, and more. Refreshments. Children welcome!

Catoctin Region Stop #5

Directions to White House Ceramic Studios:

From Route 287 North, before you arrive in Lovettsville, turn right on Loudoun Street (just past the gas station and fire house), then turn left on Pennsylvania Avenue. The studio is the first house on the left.