A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ann Legris studied at the Cleveland Art Institute, and lived for a number of years in Madison, Wisconsin, where she learned her craft by working in a pottery studio co-op. Essentially self-taught, Ann has been working in clay for more than twenty-five years.
Ann specializes in burnished wheel-thrown white earthenware and her forms are classical in shape. She explains, “The white earthenware clay that I use provides me with a classic canvas for depicting the natural world that surrounds me in rural Kentucky. Undulating native grasses, praying mantises, grazing horses, and the clear night sky all provide inspiration for the decoration of my pottery.”
To decorate her pots, Ann covers the surface of her wheel thrown pottery with terra sigillatta, a wash of fine clay particles in suspension with water. This applied wash is then polished and burnished onto the surface of the pot after drying. Lots of Ann’s decorations are abstractions, which are enhanced by the pit-firing process. In this firing process, each vessel is individually fired in either a below ground pit or a large 55 gallon barrel filled with straw. As the straw ignites and burns around the clay pots, a variety of colors and flame-pattern marks are left on the vessel surfaces.
Ann’s work can be found at Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea.