Diebboll / Pines End Pottery - Salt-glazed Stoneware Churn

Pines End Pottery, as established in 1966 in Washington MI, has ended with the passing of Bob Diebboll on September 8th, 2011. Bob began making pots in 1949. In 1986 his son Bruce joined his father and all pots were then handthrown by him and decorated by Bob. Kurt, another son, jiggered their dinnerware for a few years. At present Bruce is constructing his own studio, gallery and kiln in Ann Arbor MI anticipating his return to making his own work.

Bob and Bruce were potters dedicated to the hand-production of stoneware: making, decorating, and glazing their own work in styles distinctly different, as well as collaborating on many pieces. Great emphasis was placed on the integration of particular shapes, detailed decoration and the color produced both by the materials they used and the ultimate firing process.

Their work includes functional as well as decorative pieces with an emphasis on overall aesthetic quality. Each one was hand thrown, assembled, or jiggered as an individual piece. Careful consideration was given so that the shape of the pot and the design to be applied were compatible.

Their salt-glazed stoneware was an effort to continue, and contribute to, an American tradition. Many of the shapes and designs were influenced by early folk art pottery, others were original in their conception. The process they used was similar to the earlier potteries: clay was kneaded, wedged and hand thrown on the potter’s wheel; while still damp, the raised, brushed or incised decoration was applied; this was typically liquid clay mixed with cobalt carbonate. They were then fired in a gas kiln where the salt vapor combined with the silica in the clay, forming a leakproof glaze.

Their forms and decoration continuously changed and evolved. They had a commitment to excellence, to carefully crafted pots, and to constantly changing ideas and techniques.