Steve Bunton Stoneware
Functional stoneware pottery on the wheel that is high-fired
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About Our Art
I graduated from Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois in 1972 as a fine arts major in art education. I received a major in painting and drawing and a minor in ceramics.
Shortly after being married in the summer of 1972, I began my teaching career in Galesburg, Illinois. The following year my lovely wife Marti and I moved to the St. Louis area to continue my teaching and start a family. I taught elementary art in the Ladue School District for 36 glorious years and retired at the end of the 2009 school year and now devote my attention full time to making pottery.
Although teaching has been an intense passion, I have also worked as a clay artist since 1976. Wheel thrown, functional stoneware has interested me from the start. I began exhibiting my work in 1977, participating in local and out-of-state art fairs.
A move in 1983 to our present location in rural St. Clair allowed me to continue my teaching with a 54 mile commute, but also gave our two young sons freedom to build tree houses, splash in our creek, fish in our pond and nearby Meramec River, and grow up loving our beautiful Ozark woods.
I presently work out of a small home studio and fire to cone 10 to insure that my work is durable and safe for everyday use at the table. I mix my own clay bodies and glazes to assure specifications for excellent form and function.
I make a variety of functional and decorative forms and enjoy the process of forming clay on the potter’s wheel, using my hands and a few simple tools to complete the task. There is some indescribable “magic” that occurs when a seemingly cold and lifeless lump of earthen clay is slapped down onto the wheel head and the potter skillfully places hands upon it to shape it into a beautiful and graceful vase, bowl, platter, or pitcher.
After a period of slow drying, more “magic” is encountered by the potter as the pots come out from the kiln, changed by fire into bisqueware. Glazes are then poured and sprayed. The pots are also dipped in glaze to cover the inside and outside of each piece. I am again amazed how an even hotter fire melts the glaze into a thin coating of shiny or mat glass and further hardens the clay into a warm brown of durable stoneware. Smoke and fire combine to bring beauty to clay.
I use creativity, skill and many years of learning on my journey to make the perfect pot, but tomorrow always brings something new to learn and try. Perhaps it is that one fact which offers the most “magic” for me and continues to challenge and stimulate my interest.
Steve Bunton Stoneware
201 Gibson Road
St. Clair, MO 63077
email Steve Bunton@gmail.com