Artist Statement / Biography

Artist Statement:

I strive to make comfortable and beautiful pots for the home that enhance the pleasure of food and the nourishment of the soul. In a world that typically severs the connection of object (or food) and maker (or grower/cook), I find it necessary to produce functional pottery that may help remind us of our earthly surroundings and our ability to create and enjoy the handmade/homegrown in our daily lives.

Nature plays a large role in my inspiration for both the design and decoration of the pottery. I am primarily inspired by my natural environment which includes a rich, red clay dirt and lush, green mountains that bloom with color in the spring. I also enjoy looking at the multi-layered colors of birds’ feathers. These colors and patterns roll around in my memory, synthesize and are drawn out over the clay, either in the way I shape wet, newly thrown clay or apply brush strokes of ceramic colorants to the surface. It is my intention for each pot to be unique. Every pot made is considered as an individual that belongs to a large family. This uniqueness, I hope, reminds the user that it is handmade and not part of our mass produced world.

Either wheel thrown or hand built, my pottery is hand crafted by me alone. Once the pot is air dry it is coated with a white clay slip. After the first firing (bisque) I paint with food safe ceramic color stains and glazes using brushes and applicators. They are then dipped in a unique glaze I formulated to grow small micro-crystals in the kiln. The heat from the electric kiln (final glaze firing to around 2130 degrees F) distorts the paintings and slow cooling adds a layer of ‘sugar’ or micro-crystals, aiding in the uniqueness of each pot.

Artist Biography:

Elise Willa Pincu Delfield is a studio potter and ceramics instructor in Bryson City, North Carolina. She received her B.A. In Liberal Arts with a concentration in Ceramic Arts from the University of Florida in 1996. From there she continued to develop her pottery at Eastern Kentucky University as the Resident Artist, a Spring Concentration student at Penland School of Arts and Crafts, Cleveland Institute of Arts Post-Baccalaureate student, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania as the Ceramic Department Studio Technician, and the University of Miami as the Resident Artist. During her time as Studio Tech, the Pincu Pottery business was formed and Elise traveled to various outdoor retail art/craft shows where she took home numerous awards. In 2000, Elise took a brief hiatus from clay and began a 5-year career in Library Science, earning her MA degree. In 2006, after moving to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Pincu Pottery was born again. Elise has been working on a line of studio pottery as well as teaching at the Heritage Arts Institute of Southwestern Community College ever since.  In 2010, Elise became a member of the prestigious Southern Highlands Craft Guild.  Beyond clay, Elise is interested in hiking with her beloved husband and dogs, cooking, baking artisan breads and growing her own fruits and vegetables in her garden.

1993- Took first pottery class at University of Florida student union.

1996 – Completed coursework for ceramics at the University of Florida, Fine Arts Dept. Studied with Linda Arbuckle and Nan Smith.

1996 – Attended Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts to study with Peter Beasecker

1997 – Attended Spring Concentration with Michael Corney, Penland School of Arts and Crafts

1997 – Began a year-long post-baccalaureate program at Cleveland Institute of Art studied with Judith Solomon and Bill Brouillard

1997– Studio Assistant for Angelica Pozo for a week-long tile class at Penland School of Art and Craft

1998 – One year Studio Assistant at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania

1998 – Started my business – Pincu Pottery

1999 – One year Artist in Residence at the University of Miami, Florida.

2000 – Started a full-time career as a librarian

2006 – Moved to Bryson City, North Carolina

2007 – Began teaching Continuing Education ceramics classes at Southwestern Community College in the Heritage Arts program. I continue to teach handbuilding and wheel throwing classes, ceramic history, glaze calculation and other courses related the the business of ceramic arts.

2010 – Accepted into the Southern Highlands Craft Guild membership.

2013 – Invited to teach at the John C. Campbell Folk School

2014 – Works published in American iPottery by Kevin Hlutch an In the Potter’s Kitchen  by Sumi von Dassow


  1. Nancie Wilson · May 19, 2009

    Best wishes in your new venture, Elise. I’ll see you guys back in class next week.

    • pincupottery · May 19, 2009

      Thanks, Nancie! I need the luck and anything else your willing to offer!!! Hope to see you back and ready to tackle the clay again soon!!!! Have a wonderful time!

  2. Marilu · May 19, 2009

    William and I enjoyed our potterfy classes with you during our recent trip to Bryson City, NC. As you know it was our first time working with clay. You made it fun and easy. We actually enjoyed seeing our creations. Now we can’t wait to see what they look like after being glazed and to put them to use. Thanks so much for sharing your passion. We had a great time and will be back. We wish you all the best, Marilu & William

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