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Thomas Fossier

Thomas Fossier, a retired pilot, began working with clay while living in New Zealand some 20 years ago. His primary focus is wood-fired vessels, fired in his anagama kiln in northern California. He explores form and surface with a Zen sensibility. In his own words:

I have spent much of my life walking in the high mountains and desert canyons of the American West. Rocks and colorful soil are the most essential features of these landscapes, and my aesthetic vision has been tuned to the characteristics and beauty of mineral surfaces. I find that I am a materials enthusiast, and love ceramics for reasons similar to my love for Western landscapes: the colors and textures, and the sense of material substance and solidity in three-dimensional space.

The medium of clay is inspiring for both its forming and firing characteristics, and I am drawn to exploring its limits, bringing attention to its specific properties. Firing my work in a wood-burning kiln, at very high temperatures for multiple days, brings out the tactile and colorful potential of clay and melted ash. The unique character of different clays becomes markedly evident after immersion in this transformative environment.

I see my clay forms as both canvases upon which I will paint with fire, and as the formal structural elements which balance the organic patterns that flame creates. There is an opportunity for serendipity that wood-firing engenders since it is a collaboration between the potter’s intention and natural process that is not wholly controllable, and thus the seemingly random complexity of nature is evident in every piece.

I believe that we unconsciously recognize the seemingly random order of nature as beautiful, and I embrace a process that brings some of that magic to my work. I seek to make objects which embody subtlety, whose refinement and elegance come to be known gradually, and that are both robust and unpretentious. Thus, I attempt to lay the foundation for a durable relationship, wherein my clay work may enhance the aesthetic experience of home and bring a sense of occasion to the myriad small moments which comprise our days.



Product Image Item Name Price+
THOMAS FOSSIER: Yunomi, porcelain

THOMAS FOSSIER: Yunomi, porcelain

Dimensions: 3.25" tall x 3.25" in diameter. I sized these to fit the hand of my wife, who is petite. This one one has a scar which is visible where another pot leaned into it in the kiln.
$60.00
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THOMAS FOSSIER: Yunomi, dark clay (#1)

THOMAS FOSSIER: Yunomi, dark clay (#1)

Dimensions: 3.5" tall x 3.5" in diameter. The surfaces range from brown to glossy black, with red and cream-colored melted ash runs. These are sized to fit my hand.
$70.00
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THOMAS FOSSIER: Yunomi, dark clay (#2)

THOMAS FOSSIER: Yunomi, dark clay (#2)

Dimensions: 3.5" tall x 3.5" in diameter. The surfaces range from brown to glossy black, with red and cream-colored melted ash runs. These are sized to fit my hand.
$70.00
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THOMAS FOSSIER: Chawan, blue tones

THOMAS FOSSIER: Chawan, blue tones

Dimensions: 3.25" tall x 4.75" in diameter. This chawan was in the same firing as the Long Necked Bottle (see below), and it also developed some of that blue - partially on the hip on the outside, and abundantly in the interior drips.
$80.00
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THOMAS FOSSIER: Paddled Square Porcelain Bottle, "Crustals"

THOMAS FOSSIER: Paddled Square Porcelain Bottle, "Crustals"

Wheel-thrown and then paddled square. Dimensions: 5" tall x 4" wide. This was fired with a shino glaze which tends to develop lots of crystal growth. When seen close up these crystals seem to be floating on a matrix of translucent glass.
$80.00

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THOMAS FOSSIER: Long Necked Bottle

THOMAS FOSSIER: Long Necked Bottle

Stoneware, anagama fired. Dimensions: 6.5" tall x 6" in diameter. Comments from the artist: The long-necked bottle is an area of form that I have barely begun to explore, and which I intend to visit again. I have used that bottle to serve sake and whiskey and find it comfortable to hold while pouring. The surface of that bottle is unusual in the...
$140.00

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THOMAS FOSSIER: Paddled Square Porcelain Bottle

THOMAS FOSSIER: Paddled Square Porcelain Bottle

Wheel-thrown and paddled square, fired to cone 14 so that the neck bent a little. Dimensions: 4.75" tall x 4" wide.
$150.00

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THOMAS FOSSIER: Chawan, dark clay

THOMAS FOSSIER: Chawan, dark clay

Dimensions: 3" tall x 4" in diameter. This dark stoneware chawan has crystals almost all around, from light gold-colored crystals floating on a dark background to darker crystals on a pale glass background.
$160.00
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THOMAS FOSSIER: Rotund Stoneware Bottle

THOMAS FOSSIER: Rotund Stoneware Bottle

Wheel-thrown white stoneware. Dimensions: 6.5" tall x 8.75" in diameter.
$225.00

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THOMAS FOSSIER: Slab Built Bottle

THOMAS FOSSIER: Slab Built Bottle

Stoneware, iron slipped and anagama fired. Dimensions: 5.5" tall x 8" wide x 2.25" deep. Comments from the artist: The slab built bottle is among my newer work. I have just begun hand building in this last year as a way to explore forms not accessible with the wheel, and the results have encouraged me to do a lot more. Compared to the wheel,...
$225.00
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