Pat Collins is a ceramic artist residing in Saratoga Springs, New York who specializes in raku and saggar fired pottery. Pat studied ceramics at the University of West Chester in Pennsylvania where she graduated with a BFA. Since graduating, her work has been in several exhibitions in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio.
The inspiration for creating my clay vessels goes back to my interest in Native American Pottery and the natural beauty of the Southwest. My vessels are formed by combining the modern technique of wheel throwing with the traditional technique of coil building that was used by the Pueblo Indians.
The saggar fired vessels are fired in a container called a saggar, where they are surrounded by sawdust, seaweed and various other natural combustible materials. The vessel is not glazed, but rather gets its coloration from the volatizing and fuming of the materials in which it is fired, mimicking the unpredictable forces of nature. The result is a one of a kind vessel that echoes the beautiful landscape of the Southwest.
The raku vessels are fired at a relatively low temperature and then removed from the kiln while red hot. They are then placed into a container of combustible materials that ignite and cause a reaction creating colors and patterns on the surface of the vessel. It is always exciting to open the container after the vessels cool because there is always an unpredictable and beautiful surprise.