Here at Hardwood Artisans, we are always so excited about the local artists who display their artwork in our showrooms. From woodturners to painters, they all possess amazing skills. The latest addition to our showrooms is a wonderful potter, Hadrian Mendoza. Hadrian works out of the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center along with many of the artists who display their works in our showrooms.
Hadrian definitely has a way with manipulating the clay, turning it into fascinating bowls, trays, teapots and vases. Of my favorite pieces are his round vases with square twisted necks such as the one below.
Hadrian graduated from the Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA. In 1994, at the age of 22, Hadrian took an elective course in college, and since then has had a passion for making pottery. Originally from the Philippines, he went back in 1997 to rediscover his roots and learn about the craft along with the different techniques of pottery making in his homeland. He came back to Virginia in late 2009 and since then has been working in his studio at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA.
Hadrian is inspired by the environment that surrounds him, whether it be near or far. You will also find a lot of southeast Asian influence in his works, and in the simplicity of his forms, such as this stunning teapot set below:
Hadrian starts by kneading the clay to warm it up and to get rid of the air bubbles. He then bisque fires the piece, a process which is important to potters if they want to use more decorative stains and glazes without risking damage or cracking of the pottery. Below is a picture of Hadrian shaping the clay to make a tray:
He then adds his glaze and fires the piece again in temperatures as high as 1300 C (2372 F). He will sometimes add a little salt to create more movement in the glaze. After the kiln has cooled, he opens it and the process starts all over again. The end result, is a magnificent piece of artwork such as this beautifully glazed bowl:
Hadrian is currently on the hunt for wood firing kilns in Virginia. “As a potter”, he says, “the most important thing for me is the clay and the kiln. Without clay, [you] can’t make anything. Without a good kiln, the pieces can’t be finished the proper way.” He is constantly on a journey, learning new things about the pottery-making scene locally and nationally, always appreciative of new challenges.
Hadrian’s beautiful pottery is on display at our Fairfax and Alexandria showrooms. You can also see more of his artwork at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center or click here to be directed to his website.