Pottery by Nan Rothwell


Functional Pottery

Salt Glaze & Stoneware

Pottery Classes and Workshops

Studio Showroom Open Tues – Sat

My pots are made to be used — to enhance the rituals of preparing and eating food, to hold flowers, to light a corner for reading. Making functional work connects me to the age-old tradition of artist craftsmen who make beautiful objects for daily use.

I‘ve been potting since 1969, yet after all these years, I still enjoy every aspect of making pottery, especially throwing and firing.  The alchemy of transforming soft clay into finished pots continues to excite and inspire me.

I offer classes and workshops in my studio, and I also teach at conferences and craft schools.  I had some wonderful teachers when I was first learning to pot, and teaching allows me to pass the favor on.  Drop me a line if you want to know my current teaching schedule.

Big Changes

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This fall is racing by and I see that once again, I have fallen behind in posting to this website.  There are big changes afoot here at Nan Rothwell Pottery!  We’re closing the studio showroom and classroom as of December 31, 2014 and moving to Charlottesville, Va.   I plan to continue to make pots, working in a yet-to-be-discovered small studio in town and firing here in Nelson County.  I will still be offering classes and workshops, but beginning in January, they will be at City Clay in Charlottesville.  I know we will miss this wonderful place, where we’ve lived and worked since 1978. But we are both excited by the prospect of being able to walk to things and take advantage of town life for a change.

My studio showroom will be Open Daily until December 31.  Nancy Maxson and I will hold our final Holiday Open House here December 6 & 7, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Rural Health Outreach Program here in Nelson County.



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I really enjoyed last weekend’s workshop!  People made some interesting pots!  This photo was taken at the end of three days together.

Some favorite pieces from our three days together

And the website is finally back!

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My webmaster (who also happens to be my son) and his crack team of experts have been trying to figure out why this site was out of commission for the past while.  Not quite sure who fixed it, but I am delighted to have it up and running again!

A great week at John C Campbell Folk School

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Just home from teaching a class at the John C Campbell Folk School in North Carolina.  My friend Ann Sollo and  I worked with a group of eleven enthusiastic and talented potters.  Six of them had no prior clay experience, yet everyone ended up making some nice work.  Here is a photo of the group on our last day.  

May 3-4 Workshop – seeking a quorum!

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Finally back on track!

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Things are finally moving along in the studio.  Classes are rolling, despite this week’s surprise snow storm. And although I am not yet putting in long hours as my ankle recuperates, I am getting to play with clay.  Great stuff, clay!

I’ll be teaching at John Campbell Folk School in April and at Touchstone Center for Craft in September.  The Folk School is in Brasstown, North Carolina; Touchstone is in Pennsylvania.  Looking forward to both workshops!

Classes postponed

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I’m grounded with a broken ankle, so have had to postpone my first set of pottery classes and push off my first studio workshop here.  As soon as I am sure of the new start date for classes, I will amend the schedule on the classes page.  Missing clay and my wonderful students!

2014 Class and Workshop Schedule

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Just finished putting together my 2014 class and workshop calendar.  I’ll be offering two slightly longer class sessions (12 week instead of 10) instead of the three sessions of the past few years.  There will be four workshops here, one of them in conjunction with Kevin Crowe.  I’ve put dates and details here on the classes and workshops pages.

Thanksgiving Weekend Show

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Holiday Open House

Thanksgiving Weekend

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

November 30 & December 1

Nancy Maxson and I are hosting our annual Holiday Open House.  Nancy will have her calendars, cards, and paintings, plus her delightful new book “Tasting the Wild Strawberry” published by St Brigid Press. I’ve got a lot of nice new pots on hand, plus some joint projects made with Carter’s woodworking and my pots.   Join us for  refreshments, music and good cheer.  

New Pots! Shows Coming Up!

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I just finished pulling apart the classroom and installing the expanded showroom here.  It’s always a lot of work, but it’s great to have the place looking so clean and fresh.  The showroom will be OPEN DAILY, throughout November and December.  I have posted photos of the showroom in the Pots In My Showroom page of this website.

Here are some shots of last week’s stoneware kiln firing — all my work.  Once we get through the Artisans Studio Tour this weekend, I will be loading and firing a kiln of student pots. Stay tuned for photos of their work.

Stoneware firing November 2013

Stoneware firing November 2013

I am especially pleased with the handbuilt domes (second shelf from the top on the left).  I used paperclay for them, which allowed some nice folding without cracks.  They will sit on top of wooden boards that my husband Carter is making.  They will function this way and can be flipped over to use as a serving bowl.  Here is one of them:

Stoneware dome on wooden board