There are a number of fine ceramic and pottery studios within a few hours of Reno and they are all having sales just in time for the holidays. Great Basin Pottery and Joe Winter Pottery are within an hour’s drive north of Reno. Planet X Pottery in Gerlach is a little farther, but well worth the drive. And a trip to any of these will take you through some beautiful desert and mountain scenery.
Great Basin Pottery, north of Reno on 395 was founded by the late Paul Herman in the early 1980’s. Having purchased the property he built a cabin, a workshop and a propane kiln and began creating and selling pottery directly from the workshop.
Joe Winter Pottery. Joe moved to the area in 2005 and set up shop just a few miles from Paul. Joe and his wife, Shiho, make functional and decorative ceramics including raku, wood and salt fired techniques. Joe and Paul teamed up and researched and built an anagama style kiln in 1999, completing construction in the spring of 2000. The kiln is located in the Great Basin Pottery workshop.
Anagama technology is Japanese, with fire at one end and a flu at the other and built on an upper incline. Pieces are placed on rising levels between for firing. They began firing the kiln every spring and fall and the biannual sales from these artists began.
Casey Clark met Joe and Paul in 2004 and learned the woodfire method under their direction. When Paul passed away in 2019, Casey was able to acquire the property and today continues Great Basin Pottery in fine fashion. He has collected some of Paul’s original work and plans a permanent display as a tribute to the one who started it all.
Casey and Joe continue to have spring and fall shows at both locations. This year’s fall show takes place the 4 weekends after Thanksgiving. Great Basin Gallery is located off of 395 north of Reno. Joe Winter Gallery is located a just a few miles east off of Red Rock Road.
Great Basin Pottery
423-725 Scott Road.
Joe Winter Pottery
16620 Fetlock Dr.
Reno, NV 89508
This year’s fall show takes place the 4 weekends after Thanksgiving. If you want to visit at other times during the year, it’s best to make contact in advance.
Planet X Pottery is a few miles north of Gerlach on Nevada 447, around the west side of the Granite Range. This famed pottery and art oasis of John and Rachel Bogard is off grid and open year round. John came in 1974 attracted by low rent, isolation and more water than he knows what to do with. Since then Planet X has become a two-man (one of them a woman) factory producing functional and decorative pottery and paintings for a clientele that has grown steadily over the years.
There are small galleries and various production studios sprinkled around the grounds and under the trees in a kind of open compound.
John’s pictorial representations on the cups, bowls and platters that he makes are unique and resonant, each one a signature. He revealed to us that his inspiration for the “desertware” came from looking out the window. Visitors are welcome to wander as they please, with a few well marked exceptions. There are tables available under the trees if you brought lunch. Keep your dog on a leash, please.
John is also an accomplished landscape painter and his gallery provides a wide range of Nevada scenery.
The fall show at Planet X is the weekend following Thanksgiving this year. Stop by 11:00 to 4:00 most other days of the year. And you can always call ahead.
Planet X Pottery
Gerlach, NV 89412