MiVT: Pottery by Stacey Stanhope Dundon

ORWELL, Vt. (WCAX) An Orwell artist is putting paintings on pottery. Her unique stoneware is Made in Vermont.

Stacey Stanhope Dundon is used to working away in the extreme heat. "Trimming can be the funnest part and the hardest part," Stanhope Dundon said.

She co-owned a pottery shop in Atlanta with a friend from grad school. During that time, her grandparents had a place on Sunset Lake about 15 minutes away from where she now makes her pottery in Orwell. Some of those Summer visits to the lake were hot as well.

"During the heat wave in 2005, when I was up here for a month, I put my chair in Sunset Lake and drew on pots for hours at a time. It was the only way I could stay cool," Stanhope Dundon said. She went solo with her pottery when she moved to Vermont permanently in '09. "I wanted to be up here and be a full time potter."

Before coming here, Stanhope Dundon was primarily hand painting horses on her pottery, but that would change. When I started coming to Vermont I started adding farms on to my pottery. Just driving to work there's inspiration, because it's just all the farm animals and the barns," she said.

She'll throw salt into her kiln towards the end of the firing process and that creates a warmer texture to the pottery. "Other people have to put glaze on the outside of their pots and glaze the whole thing. I'm allowing the kiln to do its work," she said.

After the piece is made and fired, she draws on it with graphite pencil. "The more detail now. The better it will look," she said. Next, she applies wax, and when the wax dries, she brushes over it with a black slip or melted clay. "This gives away all my secrets."

The slip only sticks to the the clay, not the wax, creating this cool, detailed look."It gives the look of wood-cut and can be very deceiving to people. I'm actually doing individual paintings on the pottery and that I think is a little more unique for what I'm doing in pottery," Stanhope Dundon said.

Her mugs range from $40 to $70, with bowls being more expensive. She sells it at the Brandon Artists Guild, Three Pairs Gallery in Dorset, and Art On Main in Bristol.

"I love making art here. There's inspiration everywhere," she said.

Sticking to her unique techniques, The pottery of Stacey Stanhope Dundon is high-fired stoneware for any season.