Doug Peltzman: Pottery King

Last week’s blog post got me thinking a lot about glazes, particularly the way transparent glazes have a tendency to either pool, or run and thin depending on the recesses (or lack there of) on the surface a work. I always gravitate towards work done by artists who understand the marriage between embracing the fluidity of glaze at high firing temperatures, yet still executing some kind of control on the surface, and if you ask me, the work of Doug Peltzman is the quintessence of just that! Here are a few examples (in my humble opinion) of some of his most outstanding work.

I think the thing I am drawn to the most about this work is the inlaid network of black lines. I love the hard and fast geometries Peltzman creates with these lines coupled with the freedom of the black seeping over the inlay, bleeding into the rest of the body of the piece. Both the lines themselves and the bleeding emphasize the sturdiness and fullness in these simple forms, and it is just so attractive! It is the perfect combination of linearity and rotundity.

As if I needed another reason to sing his praises, Peltzman also uses (at least in this series of work) a beautiful color palette when it comes to his glazes, taking care to apply them carefully and masterfully. He applies layers of wax, latex, glaze and underglaze to the surface of his pieces with such precision. Here’s a couple photos of some work in progress:


The layering effect is incredible. I recently visited the Clay Studio in Philadelphia and nearly had a heart attack when I combed through their cabinets (with the utmost care, I might add) filled with mugs, plates, pitchers, teapots, and more of his work for sale in one of their showrooms.  I was so inspired by his work that in high school I even made a teapot inspired by his surface treatments, and I hope to continue to play with these kinds of layering, even considering the complexity of the process. Stay tuned for work to come!


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