John Britt the Potter's Clay Feet

John Britt Oil spot BowlI first ran across John Britt in one of his Youtube videos years ago, back when I began learning how to make pottery. At first I wasn’t too sure I was going to like him. He had an odd sounding voice. After a few minutes of listening, I became aware that John’s voice was filled with a good-natured attitude. I liked that a lot. So I finished watching that video and became impressed with John’s skills on the wheel. He ended his video with the exhortation to “Now go make twenty four more of these.”

Twenty four?! That seemed so impossible when I was a beginner. But it made me realize that I could one day actually create twenty four bowls in a sitting. What an exciting possibility that was for me back then.

I sought out more videos from John Britt. He seemed sensible, good natured, down to earth and an extremely good potter. For some reason I had gotten the impression that John was on the West Coast. That was probably a good thing for me since I had developed a bit of hero worship. I sure didn’t want to embarrass myself around him! After all, I'm not a kid, I'm happily married and in my past I’ve kept my dignity when introduced to royalty and Hollywood stars. I'd never even had an infatuation with a rock star as a teen. To be caught in hero worship of John Britt would have been very embarrassing to me. I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling like a goofy kid about the guy.

Eventually I discovered that John Britt lived in the same area of the state I live in. I found that out because he was scheduled to attend a demo of a friend of his; the same demo that I had planned to attend. Oh! The anticipation!

It was fun to meet John in person. He was exactly the same personality as he showed in his videos. After meeting him and telling him my name, I stayed very far away from him. Being out of breath and excitedly happy  made it difficult to think of a single subject on which to open my mouth and sound intelligent.

I later discovered that John Britt had written a book and many magazine articles on the technical aspects of glazing. My admiration for John as a person increased when I discovered that he not only was a great potter, he was crazy smart. I adore crazy smart people.

And then John made a moral stand. He went up against a major corporate entity, calling foul on their actions. He raised such a stink that Corporate made a complete apology and backed it by paying out the money they owed to artists. Holy Cow! John really was a hero. Yeesh! My admiration seemed to know no bounds.

I promptly went out to the next show he was in, and bought a lovely little oil stain glazed bowl from him. I posted on Facebook using my personal account. I told John thank you for the bowl and expressed how much I enjoy it. He quickly responded, “Thanks, Linda”.

I'm very happy with my John Britt oil spot bowl and admire it every day. I may even buy another John Britt pot in the future for my pottery collection.
I have great respect for John’s skills, intelligence and integrity.
My hero worship feelings are finally gone, though.
< grin >
My name is not Linda.            


John Britt has been a potter and teacher for over 26 years. He is the author of the “The Complete Guide to High-Fire Glaze; Glazing & Firing at Cone 10” which was published by Lark Books in 2004, was the juror for the book; “500 Bowls”, Technical Editor for “The Art and Craft of Ceramics”, and has written numerous articles for ceramics publications including: Ceramics Monthly, Ceramic Review, Studio Potter, Clay Times, New Ceramics, Ceramic Technical and The Log Book. He is currently a studio potter in Bakersville, North Carolina and teaches glaze chemistry, throwing, glazing and firing workshops.

154 Sparks Road,  Bakersville,  North Carolina   28705
Phone: 828.467.5020