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Bainbridge Island
Washington 98110
206 780-9500
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Mitch Iburg

Looking at his work, one can tell: Mitch Iburg spends a considerable amount of time thinking about clay, about its elemental composition, its interaction with other natural forces, and what it produces. Given that he grew up in Wisconsin and Iowa surrounded and humbled by nature’s vastness, it is no surprise that he would also be drawn to the wood-firing process with its powerful yet simple combination of clay and fire and to the naturalistic “landscapes” the process produces.

After graduating from Iowa’s Coe College with an art degree, Mitch moved to Appomattox, Virginia to be an Artist in Residence at The Cub Creek Foundation, studying with its founder, John Jessiman, and working with and firing the three types of clay found on the facility’s property. An informal advocate for the beauty of native clays, Mitch is willing to dig and process or “harvest” the clays himself, and says he “loves to share the unique properties of the clay with people who have been stepping on it their entire lives.” Interestingly, the Virginia clays are very resistant to heat, and feldspar must be added for the clay to vitrify or harden in the large wood-fired kilns that reach approximately 2400 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of days. Such knowledge is imperative when placing a piece in the kiln to best capture the interaction between fire and earth, some being better suited to the natural wood-ash glaze that forms in the interior of the kiln while others fire best when insulated by the coals. Many other factors, of course, also apply to a successful wood firing.

Although the majority of Mitch’s work is unglazed, he offers shino-glazed tea bowls that display the beautiful soft quality so desirable in shino wares, and has shown his work in Japan, where shino originated. Despite these connections, Mitch insists that his own most functional pieces - like a sake flask or cup - have Japanese origins simply because those forms are the most likely to encourage contemplation and ceremony. By using native clays, however, Mitch feels that his pieces speak to “where he is” - in other words, they allow each piece to become uniquely a part of its location or habitat, similar to the way in which the wine from a particular region owes its characteristic taste, body and flavor to the complete natural environment in which it is produced (soil, topography, climate, e.g.), lending a distinctive "goût de terroir" – the taste or, in the case of pottery, the very feel, look and heart of the earth.

Mitch has personally designed and built anagama style wood-fired kilns. He recently established his own studio in St. Paul, Minnesota.



Product Image Item Name- Price
MITCH IBURG: Sake Bottle, #135

MITCH IBURG: Sake Bottle, #135

Natural ash glazed sake bottle, #135. Dimensions: 5-3/4" tall x 4-3/4" wide.
$220.00
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Max: 1

MITCH IBURG: Vase

MITCH IBURG: Vase

Information coming soon, or contact the Gallery.


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MITCH IBURG: Small White Vases

MITCH IBURG: Small White Vases

Lovely little vases, white and somewhat rustic. The price is for one vase. Please contact the Gallery to order, or see separate listings (coming soon). Approximate dimensions, in inches left to right: 3-1/2 x 2-3/4; 3-3/4 x 2-1/2; 4 x 2-3/4.
$28.00

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Max: 1


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