Brandon Christy | Episode 929
Brandon Christy is a studio potter living and working in Berea, KY. Brandon received his BFA in Ceramics from Western Kentucky University in 2002. After a 14-year hiatus from clay he started Bark Camp Pottery in 2016. Now Brandon makes intricately decorated wheel thrown handmade pottery.
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Tell me about your studio. Is it at your home or off site? Tell me where you actually make.
I have a home studio that me and my father-in-law built from the ground up to save money. In 2021 we started that and then in 4 weeks my 72 year old father-in-law and I had a 24 by 24 garage studio built, that’s 575 square feet and then there was an existing little shed that I turned into my kiln shed.
How did you optimize your space for making? Did you make stations?
Almost everything in the studio is on casters where I can move it around to different spots. I even put my wheels on casters so I can change its position throughout the entire studio. But I do have a glaze area that is in the back of the studio and you can go out the back door straight into the kiln shed. So everything kind of works its way around the wet area in the front, small office, photos, shipping, and then the back corner is kind of the mish mash of projects that I need to finish.
You have a station set up specifically for photos?
No, it shares my shipping area. It’s int he darkest corner of the studio. I have several windows in the studio so that was kind of my idea to keep it in the darkest area and keep as many reflections down as possible.
What do you do for lighting then?
I have a light stand that I have actually attached to the wall and I put my actually photo light on it and take it down every time I want to take photos.
You said everything is on casters including your wheels. Are they locking casters?
Yes, they are locking casters. I try to get the most stable heavy duty casters that I could find, that would work. So far they have worked quite well. There is a little wobble at really high speeds but I don’t pay attention to it. I got used to it after a little while and slowed down. Which was good because I needed to slow down.
Do you mix your own glazes?
For the majority I buy commercial glazes and mix them in five gallon buckets at a time.
So dry glazes.
Dry glazes and most of the glazes that I paint with are commercial glazes. There’s so many commercial glazes that are viable and useful it’s hard to pass up. I do love mixing glazes but it’s just not in the cards at the moment.
How do you keep the concrete floor clean?
I wish I did a better job of it. I am what they would consider a dirty potter. I need to mop more. But I have an air cleaner that I will run every once in a while. But mostly it’s just mopping.
Do you hose it out or squeegee it out?
I don’t. Unfortunately I wasn’t a great concrete person and I didn’t add water and I didn’t add a drain. So I just do a regular old mop and change the bucket of water out.
What’s the favorite family fun time for you all?
Probably hiking. We’ve got tons of great hiking trails nearby. Within a mile we can be on top of a small mountain from our house, it’s kind of great.