Carl deGraaf

I have been producing and selling pottery for about 40 years.  My interest started as a hobby, but now that I am professor emeritus of Educational Psychology at Indiana University's Southeast campus, I have more time to devote to pottery production and sales. I make pottery because I want to use my skills meaningfully, not because I need to earn a living using them. My hope is that my patrons enjoy the use of my efforts as much as I enjoy making things with clay.

I live on a 96-acre farm that has been converted into a park-like classified forest.  The name for the property, Arbor Harbor, represents two of my other interests in life--growing trees and sailing.  I have spent the past 27 years planting trees and caring for the land. It is said that a man who plants trees is not thinking of himself. I see Arbor Harbor as an investment to benefit others who will live in the community after I am gone. The property was recently gifted to Indiana University for them to use as a retreat and research center. My wife, MC, and I will continue to live here and make improvements until we are no longer able to do so.

I construct my pottery in a studio built in a corner of an old pole barn. It has recently been remodeled to include separate rooms for each of the processes. One for working with the clay, one for glazing, and one for sorting, pricing, and storing the finished product. 

My work is unique because I use multiple forming techniques and surface treatments. Methods of construction include throwing for such items as bowls and mugs. Thin sheets of clay are rolled out for tumblers and vases.  Extruded clay is used to construct deck organizers and small boxes. Plaster shapes are sometimes the foundation for forming trays and plates. Each piece I make is an individual work and no other piece is identical. 

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