Blackware pottery grabbed hold of me and refuses to let go. I enjoy the process of polishing clay rather than glazing it. Polished clay allows for finer detail in carving. I like the simplicity of the two basic colors, black and white. I fire a white clay body once and then fire some pieces a second time in smoldering sawdust to turn them black. I like the soft, warm feel of a polished piece rather than the hard, cold feel of a glazed piece.
It is an ancient technique used by Greeks and Romans and also practiced by Pueblo Tribes and the residents of Casa Grande, Mexico. I have modernized the technique, creating my own unique forms and decorations. My work reflects my view of the natural world, just as the original blackware potters used clay to portray their world.
Larry Hyslop is retired from Great Basin College. His wife, Cindy and Larry travel the West in their RV, where Larry gains inspiration from Western landscapes. During the 1990s, he first learned pottery at the Tuscarora Pottery School and the Parks family, but later got hooked on blackware pottery.
Northeastern Nevada Museum, Elko, November, 2006