Jim and Shirl Parmentier (artist photo)

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Artist Profile Jim and Shirl Parmentier

Joined: October 1st, 2009
Website: www.parmentierpottery.com

We have been making our Pottery together since 1975. First at the Fly Creek (NY) Pottery and now at our current studio in Mars Hill, NC. We work on our vessels as a team, both in design and in the making of the vessels. All our vessels are made with our custom high fire stoneware clay body. The clay body is transformed into vessels using coils and slabs of clays. The coils and slabs are made from our custom made clay extruder. The slabs of clay are cut out to the vessels shapes. The slabs of clay are then scored and put together while in the plastic state. At this time coils are added to the slabs for the foot or the neck of the vessel. After forming the shapes each vessel is altered with files and rasps while it is in the hardening state of drying. When each piece is formed and altered we do the surface carving with various carving tools. At this time some vessels have handles applied and each piece is signed as it’s final step. Drying takes several days with caution to its timing. When completely dry the vessel is bisque fired in an electric kiln. This is called its first firing so it can be handled during the glazing process. After the bisque firing the vessels are glazed with various ash glazes, either applied with dipping, pouring or spraying. Firing is done in a gas car kiln that takes about 18 hours from start to finish. Cooling takes another 36 hours before slowly opening the kiln door. The glaze results with a gas kiln are always a true mystery and surprise. A gas kiln will give mixed results each firing.

Our style, or our mission with our vessels is first with its form. Form and proportion must fit the flow of the vessel. It must start at the base or the foot and continue through the body of the vessel and up through the neck or the top. Almost all our forms have some type of flowing handle. Depending on shape it may fit tight to the body or flow high and loose from the vessel. With form intact, the vessel has surface alterations to conform to the shape. The ash glaze will flow into these carvings and crevasses. With this continuity of form, alteration, carving and fluid glazes the vessel is complete.