Daniel Johnston was raised on a farm in Randolph County, North Carolina. When he was in his early teens his family moved to Seagrove, N.C., the center of a three century old pottery tradition. After leaving high school at 16 he worked for local potteries and later began a four year apprenticeship with Mark Hewitt. His desire to make large pots and understand the roots of Hewitt’s style led him to Phon Bok, Thailand where he worked intensively with traditional Thai potters absorbing their unique method of making large storage jars. Upon his return to the United States he built his own shop and kilns where he now produces his highly distinctive works using local stoneware clays and natural glaze materials including clay from the ground outside his studio and ashes from the wood stove that warms him as he works.
HOT MUD is an hour-long documentary video produced by Jay Yager, focusing on Daniel's work and thoughts. The narrative follows him through a firing cycle: processing the clay, making and glazing the ware, loading and firing the kiln, and greeting the public at the kiln-opening sale. Along the way we get many insights into Daniel’s history and his view of life and art.
copyright © 2010 by Jay Yager, All Rights Reserved