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Lucto was a prosperous village during the early 1800’s. Located near Salvisa, Kentucky, the town had one of the first gristmills in Kentucky standing three stories high on the banks of the Salt River. Lucto also had its own constable, blacksmith, saloon and other necessary establishments. The mail was carried on horseback by “Uncle” Tom VanArsdell and crisp, limestone water flowed freely from the spring on top of the hill.
Due to this long, rich history of my family’s farm I decided to revive its namesake and created Lucto Pottery in 1997. I began this adventure while drying out from a flood shortly after moving to my Grandparents farm from college. I had taken one ceramics class and I was hooked. Thanks to the help and support of my family, I was able to create a studio from recycled materials as well as erect a wood fired salt kiln in 1999 and a gas kiln in 2000.
The utilitarian pottery I create is reminiscent of the traditional Southern Appalachian stoneware used during turn of the 20th century. Keeping with tradition I use raw materials mined locally along the Kentucky River such as kaolin, feldspar and Kentucky ball clay. I fire my ware in a wood/salt kiln affectionately named Lucinda and an electric kiln allowing for two very different finishes.
Firing with wood allows the natural ash to fall on the pots, melting into a translucent greenish glaze. The patterns created by the ash cannot be regulated or duplicated and are considered to be finger prints of the fire.
Glazes used in the electric kiln are much more vibrant and colorful. This new line of pottery has taken on a more whimsical feel. I am decorating these surfaces with natural and floral elements in unique patterns.
I am also experimenting with tiles and wall plaques that use impressions of baby hands and feet or kind words. You can request personalized plaques with your favorite saying and they make great gifts, too!
© Lucto Pottery