Elegant Elders in the Arts: Jeff Diehl, West Virginia’s Master Potter

Calling Jeff Diehl “a Master Potter” is a bit too diminutive compared to the impressive body and largess of his life’s work as a Master Ceramicist, Kiln Builder, Teacher and Authentic Human Being.

“I was born with clay in my blood,’ states Diehl matter-of-factly. His great-grandfather worked as a potter in Germany and his grandfather had a studio in New Jersey. Diehl remembers playing with his grandfather’s discarded pot shards as a child. His formal ceramic education began at Berea College in Kentucky. He studied in the college’s ceramic apprenticeship program for five years and apprenticed for a year in Germany, near where his great-grandfather lived. ‘Pottery is still exciting for me. It’s never like a job,’ muses Diehl, as he surveys a shelf stacked with beautiful vases, platters, bowls, and fountains. Diehl has built a successful studio, a loving family, and a legacy as one of West Virginia’s best-known potters.”

For over four decades, Diehl has spent countless hours transforming mounds of clay into purposeful pottery.  “Most paper plates and plastic cups function very well,” he said. “I create pots that elevate the eating, drinking, and serving experience to a beautiful art form.  My customers tell me the coffee tastes better in my mugs and the food being served is more beautiful on my trays and plates.  I strive to create beauty in function and for the pots to function beautifully.”

Diehl considers having his pots on the walls, in the kitchens and in the hands of his customers as being his greatest achievement.  “I am honored to be a part of their everyday lives on such a personal level,” he said.

His work has appeared in many prestigious collections worldwide, including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Korean Craft Museum, multiple Juried Exhibits and the Museum at the Cultural Center in Charleston.  He has been the recipient of numerous accolades for his pottery and has taught workshops in Korea, China and many colleges and universities in America.  Most recently, Diehl was awarded the 2016 West Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts.

Here is Jeff’s show schedule for 2019:

  • May 10 & 11: Mother’s Day Studio Show
  • August 23 & 24: Not Labor Day Studio Show
  • November 16 & 23: Before and After Thanksgiving Show (At the Beckley Women’s Club)
  • December 6 & 7: Christmas Studio Show.

Learn more about Jeff Diehl at lockbridgepottery.com

We have several pieces of Jeff Diehl’s pottery on our home. Some are exquisite wall hangings, some are placed in groupings & other pieces are wonderful baking vessels.  Jeff is truly the featured artist of our home decor. He has worked with us putting together Christmas gifts for our clientele and business associates. We highly recommend the Lockbridge Pottery to you and your friends. – Betty Susanne Boyc

– Diana Hunt. HashtagWV #112. April 2019

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