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About the Artist

Born in Yuma, Arizona, in 1957, John Gregg was raised in Phoenix and attended mountaineering school in Telluride, Colorado, in 1973 and 1975. He has traveled across the Western United States, including hiking Zion Canyon and Utah's Canyon Country, to capture amazing Southwest photographs. He also took pottery classes at Arcadia High School, but his major influence was his mother, Corrine Mathiesen Gregg, who was a prolific artist. After her passing, John returned to pottery in her memory and as a way of coping with her loss. He now focuses on honing his design skills and experimenting with alternative firing methods at his home studio and Pottery West in Las Vegas.

Forest Pottery Mr. White Ceramic Bowl

Ceramic Pieces

Ceramic Methods

The major part of John's ceramic work is wheel thrown using stoneware and porcelain clays. He fell in love with throwing clay on the wheel and has a deep passion for creating clay artwork. He strives to give it the texture and form of the natural world. Most of his pieces are thrown on the potter's wheel first, then carved and textured into their final shape.

He uses earth tone glazes called Shino that come from Japan. They contain more clay than most glazes and produce rich tones. John also utilizes terra sigillata, which is made from any kind of clay, mixed as a very thin liquid, and settled to separate out only the finest particles that are painted on the body. The next step is polishing with a soft cloth or brush to achieve a shine ranging from smooth, silky luster to high gloss.

Firing Techniques

Wood firing is completed in either a wood train or Sasukenei Smokeless Kiln. The fire flows like water through the kiln, and the clay records the flow of the fire. There is no wall separating the fire from the work and through the duration of the firing ash from the fire lands on the pots. This ash melts to form a natural ash glaze. The clays respond to the flame and the atmospheres generated within the kiln. Some of his pieces are conventionally glazed with glazes modified again to respond to the atmosphere within the firing chamber. Most firing is heated to 2,420 degrees, also called Cone 12. The Sasukenei Smokeless Kiln is used as a wood fire soda.


When the soda ash is added to the atmosphere at the end of the firing, it forms a soda ash glaze. Alternative firing techniques include raku, barrel, and saggar. John built a barrel kiln for sawdust firing that gives each piece a unique carbon imprint from the organic material burned on its surface. The item is placed in the barrel, and sawdust is poured on top. Every couple of inches contains copper oxide (copper rust), iron oxide (iron rust), and sea salt. The end result of the sawdust burning is rich shades of red.