Hinckley Pottery is a privately-owned urban studio, gallery and shop housed in a former stable built sometime before 1900. It is located in the historic Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC, next door to the venerable Blues Alley Jazz Club.
Studio Director (not an instructor!)
Susan Weber first discovered Hinckley Pottery through her daughters when they were in elementary school. That was in the early days of the studio when it was still on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown.
Getting involved with the studio herself happened much later. Hinckley Pottery then occupied the first floor and basement of a lovely old house in Foggy Bottom, didn’t have a telephone answering system and recruited new students by word of mouth. Jill taught all the classes.
Things have changed since then. Susan introduced computerized record keeping, telephone answering systems and advertising. A couple of moves later two electric kilns and a gas kiln were added. Today there are more teachers, more wheels, many more students and a beautiful new studio in a very old part of Washington DC.
It takes a lot to keep the studio running smoothly, and we greatly appreciate and depend on a wonderful crew of helpers who see that everything stays on track. They prepare the clay, mix glazes, stack and unstack kilns, and generally keep things humming. A special thanks to glaze gurus David Knight and Andrew Francis; to our stalwart gas kiln firing team of David, Andrew, Samantha Gordon and Diane Hobbs; to our photography and website specialist Jack Waterman; to our workstudy program manager Sarah Waybright and to the many other moving parts of our workstudy team. We thank you all!
The first floor studio, shown here, is furnished with 15 electric wheels, two kick/electric combination wheels, and one treadle wheel. The second floor has 10 electric wheels and tables for hand-building, as well as resident spaces. The showroom is in the background. Part of the bisque library can be seen on the left.
This is the stoneware wedging area. (Porcelain is wedged in a separate area.) Above it are glaze sample tiles in our four clay bodies: Standard English porcelain, Highwater phoenix, Highwater orangestone and Laguna dark brown. Pugged studio clay is a combination of phoenix and orangestone.
The kiln room houses three electric kilns — on the other side of the shelving above. These are used for bisque firing. Glaze firings happen in the Bailey shuttle gas kiln. The electric kilns are always either firing or cooling. The gas kiln is usually fired once a week, more often if there are enough pots.
Two 4x8 foot glaze tables provide ample space for glazing and for stashing glaze tubs and buckets underneath. Some glazes are perennial favorites (in big tubs) and always available. Others are in 5 gallon buckets. These are augmented periodically as our glaze-making crew explores new possibilities.