Will Wright

Decatur, TX Website | Instagram | View All Works

Will’s art practice is all about the clay. He primarily focuses on cone 10 wood and salt atmospheric firing, as well as mid-range terra cotta and stoneware. He built a small crossdraft Wood and Salt fired kiln which fires in 8-12 hours.

Will grew up in a rural town outside Abilene, and went to Hardin Simmons University where he started out as a graphic design major. After taking a ceramics class with professor, Brandon Phillips, he got the “mud bug” and hasn’t looked back. He graduated with a BFA in Ceramics in 2012, and then earned his MFA in Ceramics in 2015 from the University of North Texas.

He has taught a range of art subjects including ceramics, sculpture, and drawing at UNT, NCTC, and Weatherford College, in addition to teaching at the high school level.


“My adolescence was spent in quintessential small town settings, but with the expansiveness of West Central Texas. I grew up on 200+ acres spread across Texas coastal and Mesquite woods in towns so small they rarely warranted a post office. This meant tractors, tools, metal wares, gardens, orchards, ranch animals, and wildlife confronted me on a regular basis. This upbringing has left me full of appreciation for nature and, almost more so, tradition.

“With functional pottery, I take my story into the homes of my audience—the table, the wall, the yard. I use sensuousness while embracing impermanence—the impermanence of my work, of its message, and of myself. What will remain consistent are the human needs for functional wares, and the reactions and feelings toward the stimuli of sights, sounds, surfaces, smells, and tastes inherent to being a part of this world. I work this connection with my pots. Beyond function, I consider weight, texture, warmth, comfort, and the poetry of images and nostalgia.

“My forms often begin with my seeing and reflecting on some tool, vessel, or structure commonly seen in day‐to‐day settings. By the time I feel resolved on a form, it most often looks nothing like it’s inspiration—though it may make a viewer recollect or think on a feed scoop, old tin wares, or their grandparents potted plants. I apply clay slips and glazes through brushing, dipping, and scraping to enhance these surfaces or create new textural contrasts. The decorations range from stark contrasts to subtle layers to traditionally rural imagery‐using brushwork, dots, and sgraffito.

“I draw from various regional and global sources of ceramics tradition—most often from Carolina wood and salt fired history and how it runs back to European ceramics, as well as Mackenzie and his interaction with Leach and pottery from Asia.

“While these ways of building and treating pots are my chance to communicate with viewers, I accept—and enjoy—that being functional is the impetus of the work. It is my excuse to bring these objects into the world. The characteristics of a pot made by hand will always affect the senses of users—as well as their utilitarian needs. These affections are where my work makes its mark. It subverts the notion of a pot as simply functional and creates a deep connection between user and object—an inseparable kinship between the piece and a specific feeling.” – Will Wright

Works by Will Wright

View All Works by Will Wright