Saturday, December 15, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Lucháir Pottery

Hello dear readers! Today I would like to introduce you to one of my friends, and a very amazing artist! Samantha Davis is the talent behind Lucháir Pottery! I first met this wonderful lady at the Franklin Art Crawl, and I was completely smitten with her and her work! She is a very sweet girl that creates some very beautiful pottery. 

What I love most about her work are the earthy color schemes represented in each piece. From the rich clay reds, soft oatmeal creams, deep sultry blues, and everything in between Sam is able to seamlessly craft some very thought provoking gradients, that warrant a second glance or two. So far I have purchased two Lucháir pieces (a tall, slender tumbler gilded in a metallic copper, and a petite teal bowl adorned with a whimsical dotted design). 

Another aspect of Lucháir Pottery that I really appreciate are her prices. I love buying art. I get a bit of a thrill from owning (or giving as a gift) a one of a kind piece that no one else will ever have, and secondly I really enjoy supporting the artists I admire. But I know that many people shy away from buying art because they can sometimes get a case of sticker shock. (I know I do!) But with Lucháir Pottery I feel like I'm getting a very good quality piece for a very fair price. (And everyone can appreciate that! Especially with the Holiday Season coming up!)

I asked her to do an Artist Spotlight and thankfully she was as excited as I was about the idea! So with out further adieu, Here is a little more information about Samantha and Lucháirher Pottery! 

Where did the name Lucháir come from?
Lucháir (the “ch” is soft like a “loch” in Scotland) is Gaelic for “Delight” or “to delight in something”. When I decided to name my art, I wanted the name to mean something to me personally. I spent some time in Ireland and Scotland a couple of years ago and my experiences there had a profound impact on my life. I also fell in love with the sound of the Gaelic language in Ireland. I find a deep sense of delight in making pottery and I also get a sense of God’s delight in me when I pour myself wholeheartedly into this creative avenue He has given me. Choosing a Gaelic name that described my experience as a maker of art seemed an appropriate way to pay homage to my faith and my love for Ireland.

How long have you been making pottery? What inspired you to start?
About three years. I was still in college and took Clay I on a whim in 2009 to fill some empty credit hours in my spring semester. It was fun, but we only did hand building. I wanted to learn wheel throwing so I signed up for Clay II. It was the wheel that got me truly and deeply hooked on pottery. Once I hit my groove on the wheel, there was no going back!

What is your 'creative process'?
That’s a tough question. It looks a bit different every time. The steps of making art with clay are always the same, but the finer nuance of making the form, altering the form, detailing or embellishing the form, those all change from piece to piece or from series to series. Sometime I have only a vague idea of what I’m trying to make, and sometimes I’m doing a commission piece so there’s a concrete idea or plan already set.
The clay process (in case you’re interested!) goes like this: Wedge the wet clay (basically kneading the clay like bread dough. This works out air bubbles and aligns the clay particles for a stronger consistency). Then throw a form on the wheel. Let it dry to leather hard (this is the point that mugs have handles attached and bowls & plates are flipped upside down to be trimmed). Pieces are then allowed to dry completely before being bisque fired. Bisque firing dries and hardens the clay body before each piece is glazed and fired again. I glaze fire in a gas powered reduction kiln. 

You have shown your work art the Franklin Art Crawl, but are there other venues where your work can he seen/purchased?
Yes! I keep up a presence on Facebook and I also opened my Etsy shop a few days ago! (there’s nothing in that shop yet, aside from a few commissions, but it will fill up soon I hope!) I also show regularly at the Boheme Collectif in East Nashville, at their monthly Funky Junk Flea Market and Craft Fair. I’ll be there on December 15th from 10am-4pm!

Are there any artists that inspire you or that you look up to?
Yes! There are several, including many potters, but the one’s who have encouraged and influenced me the most are my friends back home, Charlotte Behrens of Charlotte Arvelle Glass, Mary Kernan & Jack Doebler of New Morning Glass, and Heather Houzenga of Zenga’s. These incredibly skilled artisans constantly encourage me by their creativity and by their support of my art. Observing the passion with which they live and create inspires me to put forth my best effort, to be willing to put in the hours it takes to hone my skills, to become better at what I do. Their willingness to invest their time and energy into their creative work has taught me a great deal about intentionally investing my time and effort to learn my craft well and to remain true to my passions and my dreams. 

What is one thing you love most about creating pottery? Is there anything that you don't like or find hard/frustrating?
The part I love most is the glazes. While a glaze is mixed from a strict recipe, the way is reacts to the reduction firing process is uncontrollable. Some glazes are more stable than others and will come out the same each time. Other glazes are more touchy and while they ought to turn out one shade or texture, there’s no knowing what the “kiln god” might do with them! I love this part of the process because to an extent, I can only guide the process of finishing a piece instead of controlling it. In the glaze firing, the pottery finishes itself. I can never know for certain how it will look when it’s done until the kiln is cool an we open the door.
The challenging thing about clay is the ease with which it can change or be damaged throughout the process. Even in the glaze fire, something can get melted to a kiln shelf or blown up. If the glaze runs, the piece has to be chiseled off and I usually break things when I start chiseling! I never think of a piece as real until it comes out of the glaze kiln safe and sound. Until then, it’s a realistic imaginary object.
Where do you like to find inspiration?
People and the natural world. I rock climb, and all the time outdoors soaking up the beauty of the natural world gives me plenty of creative fuel when I get back in the studio. I also find myself inspired to create for people and sometime about people. I once did a series of teapots, each inspired by someone who had deeply impacted my life. And many of my best pieces were things my friends have asked me to make. Thanks to my creative friends who want pottery, I have hit upon some of my favorite designs!

What sort of tools do you use in your creations?
A pottery wheel, many hand tools (trimming tools, wooden sticks & wooden trimming tool, rubber ribs, wooden ribs, metal ribs, etc.) Most of my texturing is done with a needle tool, a fettling knife, and some fine wire trimming tools. And of course, I use my hands a lot!

What would be one piece of advice that you would like to give to any young, aspiring artists?
Don’t be afraid of being wrong. I’m one of those people who is afraid of giving the wrong answer. With art, there is no wrong answer. Pottery has taught me the value of mistakes and I have learned more from my errors and created some of my strongest pieces from “oops!” moments than I ever could through creating by a set of rules and standards. There is always the need to hone your skills and there will always be appreciation for fine craftsmanship, but don’t let that scare you away from blurring the lines, and doing something unexpected. And, when in doubt, take your ideas one step further. Don’t be afraid to take your creative ideas to the next level. It might crash and burn, or it might just be brilliant.


There you have it folks! I want to say a BIG thank you to Samantha Davis for agreeing to this interview! I really enjoyed learning more about you and your work, and I hope you had some fun too. I always love learning about the artists that I admire and hearing what they have to shay about their own work. So again thank you for all of your time!

Please visit Lucháir Pottery's Facebook page and Etsy shop!

Would you like to be in our next Artist Spotlight? Leave a comment here or shoot me an email! 


  1. Her work is beautiful!

    <3 Melissa

    1. Isn't it thought! I was so excited when she agreed to do this!


  2. Very beautiful. I have always wanted to learn how to make pottery. :) This is inspiring.