College Professor Carves Wheel-Thrown Pottery

Mike Ware carves texture and dogwood leaves onto a vase; Ware carves away clay to create leaves; a finished dogwood design bowl by Mike Ware
Mike Ware carves texture and dogwood leaves onto a vase; Ware carves away clay to create leaves; a finished dogwood design bowl by Mike Ware

On Saturday, Sept. 26, Alice Lloyd College professor Mike Ware will be throwing pottery on the wheel and carving the clay surface with intricate patterns from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Ware creates his pottery on a potter’s wheel from stoneware clays. He often decorates his forms with images such as dogwood flowers, influenced by the woods near his home. He decorates his pottery using an incising tool that cuts away clay and leaves intricate texture and openings in the form. Color is added using mineral oxides mixed with clay and brushed onto the surface before glazing and firing.

Ware was born and raised in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and attended school in nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in art education from Millersville State University. Ware came to Kentucky to attend Morehead State University, where he received a Master of Arts degree in studio arts in 1974. Upon graduating, he accepted a teaching opportunity at the Hindman Settlement School in eastern Kentucky, where he oversaw the operation of the clay studio at the school.

In addition, Ware taught art to levels K-12 in both Knott and Letcher counties from 1975-1991. In 1992, after a year off from teaching public school, he joined the faculty at nearby Alice Lloyd College, where he now teaches art for the school’s education majors as well as classes in the humanities.

Pottery by Ware is regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea, Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the cafe open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

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