Kentucky Tourism
Bates, Wayne

Bates, Wayne

Murray, KY


functional pottery, porcelain

Since 1979 Wayne Bates has made sgraffito decorated pottery in his studio in West Kentucky. Wayne starts with fine English porcelain that he shapes on the potters’ wheel. The colors come from colored clay coatings called slips or engobes that he applies to the surface of the porcelain on both front and back. He then carves through this colored slip with a tool to create a sgraffito line or pattern before firing. Clear glaze are applied to make the work functional. All designs are original. Wayne’s pottery will take normal culinary use and is dishwasher and microwave safe, but should not be subjected to extremes of hot and cold.


Wayne’s work can be found in his studio shop Gallery 121, outside Murray, KY; and in the The Gallery, Murray, KY; the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society, Paducah, KY; and Mark Palmer Gallery, Paducah, KY


Sgraffito- is the cutting through of a layer of colored slip coating on the surface of an unfired piece of pottery, to reveal the contrasting color of the clay or porcelain beneath.

Porcelain- is a pure white clay high in silica that is fired at high temperatures (over 2350° F.).

When thin, porcelain becomes translucent.