Elise Delfield

About the Artist

Elise Willa Pincu Delfield (Pincu Pottery) is a studio potter and ceramics instructor in Bryson City, North Carolina. She received her B.A. In Liberal Arts with a concentration in Ceramic Arts from the University of Florida in 1996. From there she continued to develop her pottery at Eastern Kentucky University as the Resident Artist, a Spring Concentration student at Penland School of Arts and Crafts, Cleveland Institute of Arts Post-Baccalaureate student, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania as the Ceramic Department Studio Technician, and the University of Miami as the Resident Artist. During her time as Studio Tech, the Pincu Pottery business was formed and Elise traveled to various outdoor retail art/craft shows where she took home numerous awards. In 2000, Elise took a brief hiatus from clay and began a 5-year career in Library Science, earning her MA degree. In 2006, after moving to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Pincu Pottery was born again. Elise has been working on a line of studio pottery as well as teaching at the Heritage Arts Institute of Southwestern Community College ever since.

Artist Statement:

I strive to make comfortable and beautiful pots for the home that enhance the pleasure of food and the nourishment of the soul. In a world that typically severs the connection of object (or food) and maker (or grower/cook), I find it necessary to produce functional pottery that may help remind us of our earthly surroundings and our ability to create and enjoy the handmade/homegrown in our daily lives.

Nature plays a large role in my inspiration for both the design and decoration of the pottery. I am primarily inspired by my natural environment which includes a rich, red clay dirt and lush, green mountains that bloom with color in the spring. I also enjoy looking at the multi-layered colors of birds’ feathers. These colors and patterns roll around in my memory, synthesize and are drawn out over the clay, either in the way I shape wet, newly thrown clay or apply brush strokes of ceramic colorants to the surface. It is my intention for each pot to be unique. Every pot made is considered as an individual that belongs to a large family. This uniqueness, I hope, reminds the user that it is handmade and not part of our mass produced world.

Either wheel thrown or hand built, my pottery is hand crafted by me alone. Once the pot is air dry it is coated with a white clay slip. After the first firing (bisque) I paint with food safe ceramic color stains and glazes using brushes and applicators. They are then dipped in a unique glaze I formulated to grow small micro-crystals in the kiln. The heat from the electric kiln (final glaze firing to around 2130 degrees F) distorts the paintings and slow cooling adds a layer of ‘sugar’ or micro-crystals, aiding in the uniqueness of each pot.

Read our Q&A for more about Elise and her work.