Friday, May 06, 2011

Barbara Walch

Handbuilt Stoneware from an Original Pinch Founder

As one of Pinch’s three founding potters, Barbara Walch’s distinctive style of pinching clay became an inspiration for the name of our gallery. After twenty years of working with mainly pinched forms, Barbara began focusing on other building techniques, such as slab and coil. Pinch currently features her slab vases, bird vases in a variety of sizes, as well as oval serving trays and coiled vases.

Based in Thorndike, Maine, Barbara’s stoneware pottery is fired at very high temperatures. A striking characteristic of her work is that the exterior is often left unglazed, allowing the natural patina and texture of the fired clay to define the form. When glazes are applied, often only to the inside, they are reminiscent of colors found in nature, such as a clear morning sky. Barbara’s work suggests shapes and textures found in the natural world and spring from both her intimate involvement in that world and from the nature of the clay itself.

According to Barbara, “I form each pot without the use of a potter’s wheel or other major piece of equipment, because I like the tactile experience of immediate and direct contact with soft malleable clay.” Furthermore, she says, “My work is meant to stimulate the imagination…while bringing to mind details of the natural land or seascape through organized forms; to renew our sense of connection to nature.” 

If you love what you see here or have any questions, please call Pinch at 413-586-4509 or email