Sunburst Pottery

About the Artist

I have been making pottery for over thirty years and continue to be fascinated by the infinite variety of forms and functions of the hand- made pot. I love the process of working with clay and like pieces that show the process with which they were made.

In the 1970s, Sunburst Pottery was located in Medfield, Massachusetts with a retail store in the front and the pottery workshop in the back of the store. Customers could watch the pieces that would be ultimately displayed in the store come to life. In 1978, I did an apprenticeship with Harry Holl at Scargo Stoneware on Cape Cod.

I moved to Ashburnham, Massachusetts in 1985 and produce my work out of my home studio in Ashburnham, Massachusetts which I share with my husband and three sons. The studio is surrounded by 30 acres of beautiful landscape and wild blueberries. Views of Mt. Monadnock and ever changing sunsets are also inspiration for my work. I make functional pottery for people to use in their homes on a daily basis.

I want people to get enjoyment from using my pieces and not just put them on the shelf. I hope my pieces bring a little beauty and joy into the everyday lives of the people who use them.

My functional pieces are made to give pleasure in their everyday use. So from my hands to yours……….enjoy.

about the artist - joan sinartra hathaway
About the Process

About the Process

I work in both stoneware and porcelain clay. My work is made in my home studio in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. Most of my work is made on the potter's wheel, but I also use a slab roller and an extruder to make hand built pieces. The work is fired to cone 10 in a reduction atmosphere in a gas kiln my husband and I built.

I often work in a series, exploring nuances of shape and form. I like the softness of clay and love pots that still look soft even after they have been fired. I like pieces to have a casual yet elegant fluidity to them.

Each piece is an individual, even if made as part of a set. I like to makes sets of pots and think about them as parts of a family. Like any family, the individuals in it all have a family resemblance, yet each individual has features that are uniquely their own. When I work on a set of pots, I strive for the family resemblance, but don't try to make each piece look exactly the same. The individuality of each piece is what interests me. The small differences show the human hand, not a machine, makes the pieces.

My glazes colors and applications are inspired by the landscape surrounding my home. I love color and like to combine many overlapping colors on my pieces. I also raku fire some pieces. The raku process involves pulling pieces from a hot kiln and putting them in a reduction atmosphere with combustible materials like leaves and sawdust. The metallic and crackling glazes resulting from the raku process make each piece truly one of a kind.