Author Profile
Harrison Levenstein

Harrison Levenstein currently lives in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts and works as the artist in residence and lab technician at the Bard College at Simon’s Rock. He makes pottery that is most often fired with wood, and is collected, exhibited, and used both domestically and abroad. He teaches classes in clay and workshops on wood-firing. He completed an eight-month internship with Peter Olsen, a wood-fire potter in Washington, followed by an 18-month apprenticeship under wood-fire potter Simon Levin in the Midwest. From February through June of 2019, he was an artist-in-residence at the Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry, India, where he spent time learning new techniques, experimenting with local materials, and firing their anagama with the locally cultivated casuarina wood. More musings to be found in his blog, Chop Water, Carry Wood, and his Instagram account @harrison_lev. 


Deeper inside the tree, a wine-dark sea of grain fading to a gentle indigo, lavender, and deep green make up the heartwood. The wide range of color in melted ash surfaces that can be seen at the unloading of a wood kiln are continually surprising. I’ve found myself thinking, “How can such color come from simple wood ash?” Well, it seems it had been in there all along.
As makers in the modern era, we are no longer making out of the necessity of our communities. We now have the privilege to make based on what sings to our souls. And although the practicality of using wild materials in the modern age is low, for Zach Sierke there is no substitute for what these local materials can provide: connection.
FREE ARTICLE! I want us to be sensitive to the romantic propaganda that perpetuates the individualist culture and mindset that bell hooks warns us of in her book, All About Love; New Visions, “The rugged individual who relies on no one else is a figure who can only exist in a culture of domination where a privileged few uses more of the world’s resources than the many who must daily do without.”