Little Mahoning Creek Pottery is nestled in the heart of a tiny little town with a small artist community, called Smicksburg, PA. Smicksburg also happens to be smack in the middle of a large Amish community. Nancy Smeltzer is the person who started up L.M.C.P. I first met Nancy in the fall of 2004 and immediately caught on to her good vibe.This image is to provide you, gentle reader, with a better visual understanding of place and the sometimes difficult (during the winter) trek it can be...on the road to Smicksburg.
This is the studio in the dead of winter...note the snow and dreary sky. Nancy has been generous enough to offer me a space within the studio...I moved my wheel and all into the studio this past fall. I have been firing the wood kiln with Nancy for around two years or more now.
Nancy is a mad wood collector! One thing I learned real quick...it's all about the wood, baby! These are some of Nancy's stacks of wood as well as the stacks of the kilns...wood fire kiln and salt fire kiln under there.
Here is where all the magic takes place (and sweat, and back problems, and drinking!) This is a bourry box wood kiln. The stoke hole is covered by that little metal door on the lower right, and the ware chamber is that big open space and the chimney is just on the other side. What a sweet firing kiln! Nancy and I have it down to about 24-26 hours!
The birds are a common motif of decoration for the quirky Ms. Smeltzer as are cats and the occasional horse.
Nancy is a serious bird watcher!
Nancy Smeltzer's work is wonderfully loose, well designed, and very well fired! Most of her work is decorated with her unique style of drawing directly into the clay surface and then adding glazes and slips to finish the pieces. It has been my good fortune to know Nancy Smeltzer and to consider her a friend, and to also be able to call Little Mahoning Creek Pottery my home base studio.
If you would like to see more images running in a slideshow go to :www.myspace.com/homefryceramics