Want to learn about the wide range of materials and methods used in the production of garden pottery? Professional ceramicist Scott Semple will answer all your questions concerning terracotta and its applications in garden design throughout the 35,000-year history of fired clay vessels, from ancient times until the present day. Our hope is that you will find this educational journey not only informative but a valuable tool when considering Eye of the Day pottery as a functional, aesthetic and site-specific option for your garden design needs. About the Author With over 40 years experience, internationally-recognized ceramic artist, arts activist, and educator Scott Semple of SS Clay Works will lead a monthly exploration into “What is clay and why is it important?” We are pleased to introduce Eye of the Day resident consultant Scott Semple: Hi folks! What a great idea—mixing garden design, world travel, critical examination and mud! Sounds messy, fun and engaging all at once. So, a little back story on me: I am a fifth-generation Californian with brown thumbs. It’s like I was telling Brent last night, I’ve never been able to grow anything, but when it comes to mud—specifically clay, you are talking to the right guy. As a professional, I am what is referred to as a “Large Format Potter,” meaning I build huge pieces out of clay. I am fortunate to have my pieces in the private collections of many prominent and celebrated individuals, and currently balance my time between the studio, the classroom, and the natural world. People often refer to clay, ceramics and pottery all in the same context. I do this all the time. Yet perhaps a little clarification is needed. Clay is the actual material. In its essence (and a very elementary definition) it is decomposed granite, at once sculptural and utilitarian, abundant and valuable. Ceramics on the other hand, is what happens when you add fire: Fired clay is ceramic. And pottery is pottery, it’s that simple. So don’t get confused as I move fluidly between terms. There are countless applications for ceramics, especially when you consider ceramic engineering or clay in material sciences. NASA, Raytheon, Apple, and Toyota are but a few entities using clay. But in the garden design business, Eye of the Day really stands above and beyond the competition. They bring the real deal, direct from the countries, potteries, and clay villages of the world to our yards and ultimately our lives. I am proud to be working with this team. See you guys next month. -SS. Questions and thoughts for Scott? Let us know! Comment via Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #BakedEarth and we’ll make sure your queries get to Scott. Better yet, leave a comment for him below in the comments section.
About Scott Semple
Scott Semple is an internationally recognized ceramic artist with over 40 years of experience working with clay. He is referred to as a "Large Format Potter" and known for large-scale throwing. Scott is also an arts activist and educator who currently divides his time between the classroom, the studio, and the natural world.