Stephen L. Baird

I was raised in LaSalle, Colorado, and took my first pottery class my freshman year at the University of Northern Colorado in 1987. Since then, I have earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts from Arkansas State University—both in ceramic arts. My work is functional and inspired by production potters around the world.

I opened my home studio in 1997 and, for the first time since I began throwing, I did not have access to the atmospheric firing found in gas, wood, or salt kilns. Instead, my work relies solely on the oxidation atmosphere of the electric kiln.

The difference between atmospheric firing and oxidation firing boils down to subtlety in the surface of the finished pots. I’ve worked for the last twenty-four years to develop the surfaces of my pots to be as interesting as those found through atmospheric firings. Pottery is a very unforgiving art, so I keep my studio practice as simple as possible. I use only one clear glaze and introduce color on the pots with slips and underglazes applied while the pots are leather hard. I finish my pots with two stamps: SLB (my initials) and SAR (which stands for the city where my studio is located, Springdale, Arkansas). 

My pottery is meant to be used daily, so it is safe to put in the microwave and dishwasher.