click any image for enlargement
flowercore ... raku with rutile patina ... 18"
inside detail origin 1 ... raku with iron/copper patina ... 14"dia
$350 detail transition 1 ... raku with iron/copper patina ... 20"
$450 detail rim detail seedpod ... raku with cobalt patina ... 10"
$400 detail cocoon ... raku with iron patina ... 19"
$450 detail shellback ... raku with iron patina ... 12"
$300 origin 2 ... raku w/ cobalt/copper/iron patina ... 14"
$350 transition 2 ... raku with cobalt/copper patina ... 16"
$400 small pods ... raku with patinas ... 4-7"
$35 - $55 ea small seedpod ... raku w/ cobalt/copper patina ... 6"


Raku-Fired Pinch-Pots
Metallic Patina Glazes

Dennis Bean-Larson

Pinch pots are the first pottery technique we're taught: you take a ball of clay, push your thumb into the center and pinch the clay between your thumb and fingers. When I started making pots in 2003 after a hiatus of nearly thirty years I started by exploring the simpliest process - pinch pots.

Not surprisingly, I saw that there was really a lot more potential with this simple technique than I had realized back in 1971 as a college student. This current group of raku-fired pinch pots each began as a 25# ball of clay. I simply used my fist to open the hole instead of my thumb. Each pot was formed using a couple of simple tools to press and paddle the clay - no clay was carved away. In 1976, Dennis Larson closed his pottery studio in Suttons Bay, married Katherine Bean and moved to twenty acres of maples near Kingsley, Michigan. Over the next two decades, together Katy and Dennis raced sled dog teams; operated a carriage business in Traverse City; started a real estate business, and raised two great children; Lindsay and Carl. Always in the background was the potters wheel buried somewhere in the barn, and a couple thousand kiln firebrick piled next to the barn amongst the once small maple saplings. A return to finish a long-overdue college career in 2001 led to a BA from Grand Valley State University and an MA in Humanities from Central Michigan University in 2004.

One thing seems to lead to another, and Dennis is again making pots. These raku pieces represent a significant change in direction from Dennis' most recent functional porcelain dinnerware and teabowls with Shino glazes.

The exception in the forming method was the piece to the left. For this piece a 25# ball of clay was rolled out into a 1" thick slab and cut into squares about 12" on a side. The squares were joined into a hollow cube, and then bagged for a few days to let the moisture content equalize. Then deep grooves were paddled into the sides, and the piece was then rolled on my table top. The entrapped air volume kept the piece from collapsing. The top was cut off when the piece could support itself.

I really enjoy the contrasts in texture and firing processes between raku and hi-fire porcelain. If porcelain has a texture like butter, then raku most certainly feels like gravel. July 27 - August 28, 2007
Main Street, Leland, MI

October 1 - November 5, 2007
1200 West 11th
Traverse City, MI For info please eMail me at