Wellman-Welsch Pottery began innocently enough, when Kimberly Wellman-Welsch took a pottery lesson, and found not only her life's calling-her speed and ability to throw was soon outstripping her teacher's kiln capacity. Harry Welsch, like any good husband, built a kiln and a wheel for his wife without knowing the first thing about pottery. Finding his wife's hobby interesting, Harry sat down at the wheel-and never really got back up again. For the next 15 years Wellman-Welsch Pottery sold work at juried art fairs and festivals throughout Florida and the Midwest, without any more formal training than the occasional workshop. Seeking more formal training, Harry went to graduate school and completed his MFA in 1989.
Since then, Wellman-Welsch Pottery has continued to show and sell their works at juried art festivals in the Midwest and the Southern United States, and have enjoyed being founding members of the Florida West Coast Ceramics Society. The society hosts the annual Tour de Clay event featuring guest and emerging artists, demonstrations and kiln openings.
B.S. 1971 Michigan State University
M.F.A 1989 Rochester Institute of Technology/School for American Craftsmen
Studio Potter, 1976 to present
Teacher, 1991 to present High School Physics at Chamberlain High School, Tampa Florida.
B.A. Elementary Education 1970 Michigan State University
Studio Potter, 1975 to present
About Our Work
We believe in making beautiful and functional pieces that encourage everyday use, and bring joy to their users. Our work is a true collaboration-one of us may start a piece, then the other will finish trimming. Later, the piece will be handed back (and forth) for glazing. Finally, there is the shared vigil of firing the kiln, and the pleasure of opening the kiln and sharing our hard work with others.
We also believe that form should follow function, and how a handle rests in your hand is as important as the vessel's volume and craftsmanship. Most of our work is utilitarian, and we encourage their everyday use-our work is meant not only for the shelf, but to bring beauty to the user every time the piece is used at the table. Because of this, all of our glazes are lead-free, and our stoneware is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. Each piece must be a dynamic thing that should either reflect the motion of the wheel, or have movement in the glazes. Our glazing patterns are reminiscent of landscapes or seascapes, and we generally use glazes in shades of blues, greens, lavenders and browns-all glazes developed by Harry.
We have a diverse range of influences, but most of our inspiration comes from organic forms, natural elements, and the environment around us. On larger, hand-built slab pieces, we often add bamboo, reed, cane, antler or rattan handles to complete the tactile experience. No matter the size or scope of the piece, we hope that you get as much pleasure from their use as we have making them.