Mark Thorson grew up on a farm in northeast Kansas and attended Ottawa University in Kansas, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. He lives with his wife and two children in Mission, Kansas. His ceramic studio is located in an industrial area of Kansas City, Missouri. He still makes the eighty-mile trek to the farm where he grew up to pit fire his work. Over the past thirty years, Mark has developed a line of functional and decorative stoneware pottery. His work has won numerous awards and has been displayed in both solo and group exhibitions across the country. He shows at juried art fairs throughout the United States.
Pit Fired Vessel
This ceramic vessel was formed on the potter’s wheel, trimmed, and coated with a slip and burnished to a shine. After bisque firing in an electric kiln, the piece was wrapped with salt soaked straw and wood fired in a pit with sawdust, hardwood and other combustibles. My shapes are simple and somewhat organic in nature. I enjoy the spontaneous results I get with this primitive firing technique. No two pieces are ever the same. I hope you enjoy the piece as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Textured Ceramic Work
Inspiration for these pieces comes from many sources. These botanical and geological forms play with texture and subtle colors. Nature gives unlimited sources of imagery. These ceramic pieces were wheel thrown stoneware. Clay additions were added to the still wet piece. It was then carved, sculpted and pierced. After bisque firing, the surface was treated to various slips oxides, and glazes and then sanded and brushed. It was fired in a kiln to twenty three hundred degrees in an oxidizing atmosphere.
The bowls are glazed with lead free glazes and can be used in the oven, microwave and dishwasher. The vases are glazed and are suitable for water and fresh flowers.