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Unzicker Brothers Pottery - Ceramic Artists

These brothers found their skill in pottery while in college at Goshen College. Jeff, initially, had no interest in his brother Tom's craft and paid little attention to pottery as an art form. During and after college, Tom spent time on pottery projects in Tanzania and Botswana. The brothers work together on Tom’s five-acre property just off the beaten path near Thorntown. They make pottery in their studio, fire it in the wood-fired kiln out back, and display and offer their work for sale in their gallery and at art shows. The brothers create 3,000 to 4,000 pots, bowls, vases, and decorative pieces each year in a 30-foot long wood-fired kiln of brick and earth. There is room inside this cave to fit 500 to 1,000 pieces of pottery. “It’s based on early Asian-style kilns,” with some of their own adjustments. The brothers burn 20 to 30 wagons full of wood throughout the year. The kiln is fired up for four days at a time. The fire requires stoking every 10 to 15 minutes, so Tom and Jeff take shifts. They choose to use a wood-fired kiln because of the unique look it creates. Inside, the wood ash actually turns to glass and coats the pots. With the fire at the entrance to the kiln and the chimney at the rear, the heat, flames and ash are pulled through the chamber. Not one piece of pottery goes untouched.