INTRODUCING LARRY ALLEN: the artist
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. Larry makes each vessel from a special black stoneware clay through multiple glazings and firings. Most of his pieces involve delicately carved designs into the surface of the wheel-thrown vessel. All the carving is done free-hand. He is specifically known for the “UNITY” motif (people holding hands) which was inspired by the tragedy of 9-11.
Larry 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.
Larry Allen was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He received a BA degree in Art from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky in May 1978. Larry has an art studio in Leeds, Alabama where he resides.
In 2007 one of his vases was presented on behalf of the Alabama State Council of 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”. Also in the same year one of his vases was given as a gift to Liberia’s first woman president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Larry also has been featured on the BrightHouse Cable television network, giving demonstrations of wheel-thrown pottery.
In addition to developing his unique, inspired pottery creations, Larry teaches pottery classes and travels for exhibitions. Larry displays his work throughout the year in numerous art festivals, mostly in the central and southeastern United States.
Larry’s stoneware also can be found for purchase through the Parkway Craft Centers in North Carolina, The ZuCot Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia and Artists Incorporated, The Grand River Outlets, Leeds, Alabama.
He welcomes your interest in his work and encourages you to contact him regarding commissions, exhibitions or special teaching assignments.
THE PROCESS: a blend of creativity and technical skill
Larry has spent decades perfecting the glazes and techniques you can find today in his art work. 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 vessels are made out of stoneware clay. The clay is a “special black” clay. After the vessels are formed they are covered with a slip solution that is mixed and 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, then the interior is glazed and fired again to maturity. In the final stage, Larry highlights each piece with a low fire red glaze and re-fires each piece.