Warning: getimagesize(/home/domains/wnightingale.com/docs/cache/generated_images/fde0d4e5641cf06e679d1bfa50ac93cf.png): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/domains/wnightingale.com/docs/include/php/Page/class.PageSiteFront.php on line 64
My work with micaceous clay began several years ago when I took a short-term class at the Taos Art Museum with Dawning Pollen Shorty. Immediately I found the experience to be satisfying and an opportunity to be creative in a medium that offers many options for the one who is learning as well as the ones who are experienced in pottery making. Classes at UNM-Taos with another Taos Pueblo potter, Antonia Lujan, confirmed for me that working with clay was something for which I had an affinity. Now, six years later, I continue to discover new ways that the clay guides me in new directions and creativity. That said, I need to be clear that the pottery work that I do is done in the traditional way of the potters of the Rio Grande Valley, particularly Taos. The clay that I use I dig myself in the mountains near Taos. After cleaning and processing I allow it to set for at least a year before using it in making pottery. I work in the traditional hand-coil way, building my pieces from balls of clay into the desired shape. After smoothing they are polished with river stones and then slipped with a mica slip that also comes from the mountains near Taos. Next they are fired in an open-pit cedar fire. It is from this firing, the proximity of a burning cedar log, that the micaceous clay will acquire the black â€œcloudsâ€ that are typical of open-pit firing. From here they may have horsehair added when they are just out of the fire to give them the â€œspideryâ€ look that enhances the finish of the pots. Or, they may instead be covered with manure and left so that through the â€œreductionâ€ process the clay, deprived of oxygen, is turned black and the finished piece is a pure black color. After they have cooled I often add turquoise stones to the finished pieces. In the tradition of the Pueblo Indians turquoise is a healing stone and its addition to the piece brings healing and wholeness to the one who possesses it. The pieces that I create are sometimes traditional pieces but often I will put my own unique signature to the design. I look for ideas in the pieces of the past as well as the present. I also look to the work of potters from all the Pueblo traditions; the Anasazi, the Hopi, the Santa Clara, the San Ildefonso, the Acoma and many other sources.
My wife and I moved to Taos in 2005 after living in the Chicago area for nearly 50 years. I was a United Methodist pastor in northern Illinois for 40 years, serving pastorates in Wood Dale, Elgin and Buffalo Grove. Born in California, my childhood and youth was spent in northwest Iowa. I am active in the Taos Milagro Rotary Club and have been a Rotarian for more than 25 years. My favorite pastimes are reading and travel. In 2015 and 2016 I walked two Camino de Santiagos, the Portuguese Way in 2015 and the Vila de la Plata and Sanabres Way in 2016. My wife and I have traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the Sub-continent. We have two children and three grandchildren. Next year we will be married 50 years.