Larry Allen



LA Pottery Vase

Each piece of stoneware from LA Pottery is hand-crafted solely by the artist, Larry Allen. His inspiration for his designs comes largely from African and Native American art. Allen makes each vessel from a special black stoneware clay through multiple glazings and firings. Most of his pieces involve designs that have been delicately carved into the surface of the wheel-thrown vessel.

Allen has worked as an artist for the past 35 years, honing his wheel-throwing and glazing techniques, all the while ceaseless in his enthusiasm for stoneware and the infinite possibilities of his craft. Allen was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He received a BA degree in art from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, in May 1978. Allen has an art studio in Leeds, Alabama, where he now resides.

In 2007, one of Allen’s vases was presented on behalf of the Alabama State Council on the Arts as a gift to Pulitzer Prize winner and author Harper Lee. In 2008, his work was showcased on the nationally televised HGTV show, “That’s Clever.” That same year, one of his vases was given as a gift to Liberia’s first woman president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Allen has also been featured on the BrightHouse Cable television network, giving demonstrations of wheel-thrown pottery.

In addition to developing his unique, inspired pottery creations, Allen teaches pottery classes and travels for exhibitions. He displays his work throughout the year at numerous art festivals, mostly in the central and southeastern United States. Allen’s stoneware can also be found for purchase through the Parkway Craft Centers in North Carolina, The ZuCot Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Christine Linson Gallery in Fairhope, Alabama.

Allen welcomes your interest in his work and encourages you to contact him regarding commissions, exhibitions or special teaching assignments.



Inspiration

Larry Allen has spent decades perfecting the glazes and techniques you can find today in his artwork. All of his pottery is wheel-thrown and mostly involves a technique known as Sgraffito. This is a sophisticated method of incising designs onto leather-hard clay that has been completely covered with a colored slip (clay solution).

All Allen’s vessels are made out of stoneware clay. The clay is a “special black” clay. Once the vessels are formed, they are covered with a slip solution that is mixed. After the slip has stiffened on the vessel, it is covered with a wax coating. This allows the carving of designs into the clay. The vessels are bisque-fired, and then, the interior is glazed and fired again to maturity. In the final stage, Allen highlights each piece with a low fire red glaze and refires each piece.

Learn more about Allen’s work at la-pottery.com.