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Crafter Q&A: Jeremy Noet, of Blue Water Pottery

Feb 3rd, 2014 | Category: Crafts

How long have you been creating pottery? What was the first item you ever made?

I’ve been making pots about 17 years full time now. Whoa, as to the first pot I made it was probably some lumpy little blob of a thing, it may have been a cup, but so heavy it would have been hard to pick up.

Jeremy Noet in his studio.

Jeremy Noet in his studio.


Given your name is Blue Water Pottery, is nature a large influence for you? How long have you been living and creating in the Bellingham area?  

The name comes from the fact that I love the ocean so much,  and pretty nearly all things to do with the water. We have been in Bellingham for 16 years now, and have fallen in love with the area.


Where do you draw your inspiration from as an artist?

I draw my inspiration from things around me and the things I use.  I really like the idea of useful, intimate objects.

Nearly all of my firing is done in a high fire, gas kiln. I like to tweak glaze recipes until I can get really vibrant, deep colors that seem to flow down the surface of the piece. In fact, I always lose a few due to the glaze running off the bottom, but they always look the most amazing! A couple times a year, if I’m lucky, I participate in a wood kiln firing, which produces a very organic, earthy result that is so different and delicious. My brother Isaac Howard is also a potter, and he and his friend Drew built a beast of a kiln down east of Stanwood, and it takes a small village of potters to fire it. Good times.k bowl web


Can you take us through the process of creating each piece, from start to finish?

First, I ask my wife what I should make that day (she runs the business). After the hard part is out of the way, I go out to my studio, stand by my fire for a while warming my hands on my coffee as my throwing water heats up. Once my water is hot, my floor is clean, my work area is organized, and all my procrastinating is done, I grab some clay. I weigh the clay for the pots I am making, I wedge the clay to get it excited, then I blop a piece of clay into the middle of my wheel and form it into hopefully something pleasing. Then I wait.  I wait for the clay to dry (but not too fast), eventually it dries and I fire it in my gas kiln, pull the pot out (cold) and wash it and glaze it and refire it. That just took about a month, and in that month a lot of pots were started and some were finished.Jeremy throwing 2


Where do you create your pottery? 

For many years, I was upstairs in the Morgan Block Building in Fairhaven, above Good Earth Pottery. Carry the clay upstairs, Greenware down. Bisqueware up. Glazed work down. Finished pots up. Whew! It was a lot of work, but such a great place to get started, surrounded by other artists all quietly toiling along, rejoicing in our good fortune to have studios we could afford. Now, I am even luckier: I make my work in a studio separate from my house here in Bellingham, but on the same property. This is really nice so my kids can come out and “bug” me. I love being at home so it’s more like the whole family is involved, although a 2-year-old’s involvement  rarely does anything to improve productivity.


Where are your products available locally? 

I’m fortunate to have several galleries that carry my work. In our area, there is The Scott Collection in La Conner and Island Studios on San Juan Island. In Bellingham, my work can be found year-round at Good Earth Pottery. Check them out they have a vast array of neat clay stuff. And my pots can be found at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market.


Being a regular at the Bellingham Farmers Market, do you have any favorite farmers you like to buy from?

We usually spread our shopping around, but I’d say Rabbit Fields, Terra Verde, Holistic Homestead, Osprey Hill, Alm Hill… there are many more. We get different things from different farmers. Oh yeah, and honey from Rob, the bee guy.

New flip-top bottles.

New flip-top bottles.


What happens to the pottery pieces you don’t like? 

Oh man, its hard because I love what I do and can do, but… I really don’t judge individual pieces.  Most of the times I think to myself, those were good, but the next ones are going to be better, maybe another 20 years of practice.


For more information about Blue Water Pottery, follow their Facebook page or contact 


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