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Laura Nichols


I have been making pots for many years. I am self-taught, leaving me to wonder on occasion whether I have a genius or an idiot for a teacher. My formal education is Anthropological Linguistics (PhD, The American University 1988.) I work in my home studio, Pig Pen Pottery, on my family farm, Hidden Springs Farm, in Great Falls, Va. I make homemade pots for everyday use. They are individually hand-painted with what I see: roosters, foxes, herons, pileated woodpeckers, dragonflies and owls, hens and chicks and guinea fowl. I strive for simplicity with each form and painting. Fired in a reduction kiln at 2300 degrees, my pots are intended for daily use. They are dishwasher, microwave, oven safe, and lead free. My goal is to make a pot that is pleasing to the eye, to the hands and to the purpose for which it is intended. I also make decorative, not so useful alternative fired pots, such as raku, saggar, pit fired, and horsehair. Rarely does a pot come out as expected. The best you can do is combine shape, texture and color according to your muse, and then give it over to the fire, and remember to appreciate what you get!


I will be showing all aspects of the processes that I use in making my pots. Please come with questions. This is the time to visit if you are thinking of getting started in pottery or setting up your own pottery studio.


12pm-3pm Raku and alternative firing. I will be running the outdoor raku kiln demonstrating glaze, saggar, horsehair, and pit firing techniques. If you come early, I will have a few pots for visitors to glaze and fire.


12pm-3pm try your hand at the wheel. Come as you are (maybe not in your Sunday best!), don an apron and feel the clay!

Pig Pen Pottery
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