Artist Statement Biography Résumé

A Reason For Work

Throwing pots is my attempt to exercise a great and persistent curiosity about shapes. It also stems from an intoxicating, selfish love of food and its preparation. When I cook for others, I strive to share the pleasure I feel in eating my favorite foods.I make pots to convey the same pleasure. Just as a mediocre plate can fail to expand on the nature of a good dish, a good plate can elevate it to a sublime experience. And it works the other way, a beautiful bowl can inspire a great pasta just as easily as an awesome quiche screams for a worthy dish. My pots want to be used, to serve many mouths around a table

Because of the nature of hand-made work, no piece I make is quite like another. With every new pot, I am refining and articulating the shape in a never-ending quest to explore a new possibility. As a culturewe look to uniformity as the benchmark; with my work, however, it is the differences that are emphasized. Not only are my pots valued as fitted pieces in my collection, but importance is placed on how their unique variations complement and strengthen the set. This idea is not a small portion of the hand-made aesthetic. Unlike the static process of machine made work, I am continually forced to respond to the form in hand. This is because I am constantly starting over with a new pot, working it out from the beginning. Each re-conception, each line, each curve that I parent, responds to and improves upon the lines of pots already made. I am re-creating, but also constantly re-thinking. Each piece becomes a separate answer to the same question, the question of how to complete this new form. The mutable nature of making each pot is responsible for a product both more beautiful and more functional.

I choose to fire my work in a kiln fueled by wood, and the surfaces I strive for are layered with wood ash, a natural glaze. This method requires a long time in the kiln and its process is almost my favorite part. The result is always different and often fairly subtle: a mix of warm oranges and rough, matte browns. While not the quickest way to fire, I like giving up control to the wood flame. The resulting surfaces are complex enough to get your attention, to hold it for a long time.

The beauty of functional-ware is tied to its function. The forms I make come from a rigorous eye, looking for new ideas and pleasing lines. Because the work is made to be used, my pieces may be appreciated twice, once when resting on the shelf, and once again in the hand. In a way, pots are not complete until you choose to take them with you, to live with them. Hand-made work, when you let it in,renders more beautiful the everyday actions of eating and drinking.Pottery is there, at the vital depth of our most needed solace, the family table. It is tied to the joy of eating and drinking with one another. It is essential.



Noah Hughey-Commers is a native of Nelson County and grew up at no great distance from Lovingston, VA. Having had a sneaking interest in pottery for a very long time, he began to work with a wheel at the age of sixteen. Post a BA in English from The University of Mary Washington, Noah returned to apprentice with hometown potter and friend Kevin Crowe. After a journeyman tour of the UK in the summer of 2010, Noah is back to start his own line of work in the newly formed Muddy Creek Pottery. Noah lives in Faber, VA.




470 Ponton Lane, Lovingston, VA 22949


434.760.3280         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Noah Hughey-Commers


Studies in Ceramics




Journeyman Abroad Intensive                                 June to September 2010


Self-orchestrated master class sessions


·         Mike Dodd    Focus in ash glazes, firing,                       Somerset, England                                     current British potters


·         Nic Collins    Anagama wood kiln pots,                         Devon, England


tradeshow preparation     


·         Svend Bayer    Kiln building, kiln firing                        Devon, England


·         Micki Schloessingk    Salt slips and salt glazes               Gower, Wales




Apprentice                                                                    May 2008 to May 2010


Tye River Pottery, Nelson County Virginia                                      


·         Focused on functional thrown and thrown/altered forms


·         Extensive study of  wood-firing technique


·         Learned artisan business and entrepreneurial skills




Student                                                                           September 2004 to May 2006


Tom Clarkson, Professor, Piedmont Virginia Community College            


·         Studied thrown functional forms


·         Maintained loading of reduction kiln



Formal Education




Bachelor of Arts, English                                          May 2008


University of Mary Washington




Associates Degree, General Studies                                    July 2006


Piedmont Virginia Community College