Through working with clay, Elena Vanasse Torres hopes to build a relationship with place and earth itself, as well as the elements that are required– fire, wood, minerals, water, stone– to shape and make durable. Elena treats both her sculptural and functional work as an invitation for ritual in her everyday life.

 

A note on Soda & Wood Firing:

Soda firing and wood firing are considered atmospheric firings— a situation in which the kiln is fired to such a temperature that certain elements in the fuel itself reacts with the minerals in the clay, allowing the interior environment of the kiln (e.g. soda ash or wood ash) to create effects on the red-hot pottery. These effects can be quite varied.

 

Depending on the fuel type and desired effect, a kiln can take anywhere from two days to one week to fire. Especially in the case of wood firings, which can require round-the-clock monitoring split between a handful of committed, sleep-deprived potters, this incurs not only a considerable expense for the amount of fuel required but also a great deal of time, energy, and heart.

 

The results are well-worth it. In the case of wood ash, ash deposits in various patterns on the clay body and can leave coral-reef-like encrustations of purple, peach, or white— this can be enhanced by the use of certain glazes which is hugely variable depending on the composition of the clay body and placement in the kiln.

Teapot
Teapot
Teapot

beautiful, one of a kind tea pot.

not rated $65.00 Sold By: Umami PotteryAdd to cart
Herb Jar
Herb Jar
not rated $35.00 Sold By: Umami PotteryAdd to cart
Wood Fired Tea Bowl
Wood Fired Tea Bowl
Wood Fired Tea Bowl

Made with clay harvested by Elena in Puerto Rico

not rated $65.00 Sold By: Umami PotteryAdd to cart
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Sea + Mountains Cup | Soda Fired
Sea + Mountains Cup | Soda Fired
Sea + Mountains Cup | Soda Fired

One-of-a-kind Soda-Fired tea cup (termed yunomi in Japan) with glazed Shino interior.

Soda Firing is a method of “atmosphere firing”that incorporates soda ash at crucial moments during firing. The result is a glossy, orange-peel texture even on un-glazed surfaces.

not rated $33.00 Sold By: Umami PotteryRead more
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Oak Ash Bowls
Oak Ash Bowls
Oak Ash Bowls

One-of-a-kind Bowls with local Oak Ash, hand applied and gas fired.

Traditionally, pottery is wood-fired in Japan and other places. The minerals trapped in organic matter such as wood are burned and released in the kiln atmosphere, adhering to red-hot vessels.

This is an attempt to capture the aesthetic of working with minimal commercial materials and letting the elements – fire, clay, wood-ash, water – speak for themselves.

One-of-a-kind, made by Elena Vanasse Torres

not rated $28.00 Sold By: Umami PotteryRead more
Soda Fired Tea Bowl
Soda Fired Tea Bowl
Soda Fired Tea Bowl

Made with clay harvested by Elena in Puerto Rico

not rated $45.00 Sold By: Umami PotteryAdd to cart
Earthenware Tumblers | Set of 2
Earthenware Tumblers | Set of 2
Earthenware Tumblers | Set of 2

Set of two

3 1/4″ and 3 1/2″ Tall

3″ wide

not rated $40.00 Sold By: Umami PotteryAdd to cart
Shino Teabowl
Shino Teabowl
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Mortar & Pestle | Mano y Metate
Mortar & Pestle | Mano y Metate
Mortar & Pestle | Mano y Metate

Oak and volcanic ash hand applied. Stoneware, High-Fired

Functional, Food-Safe

One-of-a-kind, made by Elena Vanasse Torres

not rated $40.00 Sold By: Umami PotteryRead more