Monday, 16 August 2010

Meet our Members - Troy Schmidt

I am a full time potter. I work with ceramics both large and small and have been making scale miniatures since 1993. I juried into the I.G.M.A. as an Artisan in May 1996 and was elevated to Fellow status in March 1999. Today I divide my time between making miniature ceramics as well as life-size pottery and teaching beginning ceramics classes.

My goal is to create true to scale miniature pottery that is aesthetically pleasing as well as “functional”: walls of even thickness, trimmed foot ring, open spouts, removable lids -- the same qualities I look for in a large pot.

I throw my pots on a full size potter’s wheel or meticulously hand form
vessels from slabs of clay; none of them are cast or mass produced by molds.

The potter’s wheel that I use is the same wheel that I have used to make 50 pound bowls. The process of throwing miniatures is very much the same as throwing life-sized pottery except I contact the clay with my finger tips rather than my entire hand and all of the motion of my finger tips is contained within a volume not much greater that one cubic inch. 

This reservation of movement calls for a great deal of focus and patience.  Over the years I have developed special tools and techniques to use in place of my fingers to draw up, open and shape vessels on the top of a hump of clay as well as methods of shaping and altering my pots once they are thrown.  After forming my miniatures on a revolving mound of clay, they are allowed to dry until they can keep their form and then they are re-centered upside-down on the wheel and a foot ring is carved on the bottom; like their life-size counterparts -- this attention to detail completes the piece.

Troy Schmidt
Red Dragon Pottery
P.O. Box 1347
Goleta, CA 93116


  1. Tu técnica es perfecta. Gracias por enseñarnos estas obras tuyas, es muy agradable ver ese nivel en la ceramica. Besos Clara.

  2. un très beau travail.. parfait! félicitation!

  3. wow, this is so, so beautiful!!!!!! I would love to have one of these precious pots!!!!

  4. Wow, his work is just lovely! Thank you for introducing tony to us!