Minnesota potter Dick Cooter was the first invited by Grand Hand owner Ann Pifer to show work at the gallery and, Ann says, served as an important inspiration to her mission of promoting American craft. (Dick’s inspiration, his wife and weaver Debbie Cooter, was invited at the same time.)
“I follow the tradition in which making a pot is a collaboration among clay, fire, potter and user,” states Dick. “The potter seeks the tension among them so that each element has its place, and none dominates for too long.” Dick’s studio, near Two Harbors, MN, is familiar to many who make the North Shore trek. His 125 cubic foot wood-burning kiln is modeled after traditional Korean kilns and is stoked for 36 hours before reaching the 2400° F necessary to fire the work. “Pots emerge from this river of fire with a richness of surface that can’t be duplicated by more modern means,” says the artist.
Dick’s pottery is characterized by wonderfully loose forms and rich glazes that add tempting texture and rivulets to his pieces. Aficionados of his work collect cups, “thumb bowls,” and tea bowls. Teapots, vases of all heights and a variety of serving pieces are available all year at The Grand Hand.