Artist Statement / Biography

Artist Statement:

I have always derived pleasure from creating something with my hands – usually a meal to share with my family. To me, there is nothing better than nourishing my family with locally raised foods (preferably from my own garden) served from a handmade pot. I strive to make comfortable and beautiful pots for the table that enhance the pleasure of the 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. Pincu Pottery is hand-thrown with earthenware clay, a rich, red-colored clay that is the color of the dirt here in the mountains of North Carolina; clay with a rich history as the first used for functional pottery and most common throughout the world. Round, wheel-thrown forms are then altered to show the mark of the maker as well as to give the pots an essence of a flower bud swelling, ready to be filled with your food. A white liquid clay, or slip, is then applied to parts of the pot to help brighten the glaze, which I have formulated over years of research to be both beautiful and durable. Some parts of the clay are left exposed, showing the beauty of the earth, that red clay of my home. Greens, blue and white are my chosen palette to contrast nicely with the red clay and my occasional use of brush strokes reminiscent of leaves or fern patterns connect my pottery even more to the natural world. Once the colored glaze is applied through dipping, pouring or brushing, the pottery is fired in an electric kiln to around 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.

All of my pottery is dishwasher and microwave safe, though will last longer if hand washed. To use a pot in the oven, it is best to place a room-temperature piece in a cold oven. Please do not expose the pottery to extreme temperature changes (cold fridge to hot oven) or subject the pottery to gravity, dropping it onto a hard floor.

It is my intention to have Pincu Pots used as well as displayed, and for the pots to add pleasure to both the eyes and the hands.

Please enjoy!

Elise Willa Pincu Delfield

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.



  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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