My name is Denise Caron Wilkey. I am a life-long resident of the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. My interest in pottery began in high school, and from that time on my goal was to become a potter. College, marriage, and three children put my potting on the back burner for many years. Once my kids were all in school, I plunged right in full time. It has taken many years of hard work and experimenting to get where I am today.
My days are spent in my studio, which is located in my front yard. It used to belong to my husband's grandmother, Elizabeth Wilkey, who was also an artist. I have always thought that she would have been pleased to know that the creative spirit has been kept alive out there.
The cycles of throwing, trimming, and glazing pots fill my days. Glaze formulation and raku firing are another two of my passions. There is always another pot to design and new glazes to develop, so my work is always evolving. All in all, I feel fortunate to have a job I love!
About My Work
I create mostly functional work, pots that are meant to be used everyday. My glazes are lead and barium free and are dish washer and oven safe. I have worked tirelessly in my chemical room over the years to perfect my glazes. They really are beautiful and quite different from other potters work.
Recently I began working with dichoric glass jewelry. Layers of the iridescent glass are fused in my kiln to form pendants and earrings. The combinations are endless! I also melt glass wine bottles to create unique serving dishes. There is always new work to experiment with!
I also hold pottery classes and paint-your-own-pottery workshops. They are a great chance to make or decorate Mother's and Father's day gifts, Christmas presents, or for a fun birthday party.