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Toe River Arts | Clay

Martin Stankus


Ceramic art

53 Lady Slipper Lane
Burnsville, North Carolina 28714
By appointment only


Facebook: Tin Roof Pottery

Martin Stankus has worked with clay for over twenty years, specializing in the production of saggar and raku fired ceramics as well as garden related stoneware. Retired from a career in city planning, he now pursues ceramics full-time.

Stankus refined his skills at the NCSU Craft Center, Penland School of Craft, John C. Campbell Folk School, Dan Finch Pottery, and numerous other workshops. Stankus moved to Burnsville, NC four years ago, and works out of the High Country Ceramic Arts studio while completing construction of a new home studio.

“The low fire technique I utilize in my saggar work is spontaneous with unanticipated results that are intriguing to me. The use of natural materials to create the smoke and fuming atmosphere within the firing chamber and interaction of the aluminum foil with the vessel surface creates decorative details that are unique to each piece.

I use aluminum foil as a saggar to contain the smoke and gases created by the combination of iron chloride, sugar, seaweed, copper wire, tree leaves, fern fronds, and other organic elements. I find the experimentation of combining and layering different combustibles an exhilarating process with unlimited surface possibilities. The spontaneity and hands-on characteristics of the firing process, the endless variations in surface effects, and the degree of surprise in the final result continues to stimulate my interest in the this firing process.” — Martin Stankus