Brenna Dee Ceramics is a line of porcelain pottery handmade in Asheville by Brenna McBroom. Brenna is a crystalline potter, which involves ceramics, chemistry, and a little bit of magic. Her crystalline pottery is, of course, made of clay and thrown on a wheel. But the beautiful celestial patterns result from zinc silicate glazes, crazy high kiln temperatures, cooling-off periods and … crossing your fingers.
An experienced potter can influence the color and amount of crystalline but can’t completely control it. The crystals actually grow and evolve in the kiln. Each piece will be unique and something of a surprise. Yet, as Brenna says, “All it takes is a small margin of error, and results can be terrible.” With her careful technique and years of practice, Brenna creates wondrous work that hints at otherworldly places. Look at a vase or into a bowl, and you can catch a glimpse of the cosmos.
About the Artist
Brenna’s personal journey in ceramic craft started much more down to earth. “I didn’t start throwing pots until I was almost done with high school. I took some pottery classes at a community studio … watched YouTube videos, read every pottery book I could get my hands on,” she recalls. “I spent hour after hour on the wheel.”
Starting out in Florida, where she grew up, Brenna eventually took a ceramics apprenticeship in Asheville. Here, an attraction to crystalline pottery took hold, and she found her niche. Brenna would study this specialty all over the country, from Boston to Oregon, before settling back in Asheville, where she now lives with her family. “In early 2012, I made the leap to full-time self-employment as an artist,” Brenna says. “I love what I’m doing, and I’ve never looked back.”
While Brenna’s pieces possess stunning surface patterns and brilliant sheen, they’re also functional. From slim-necked vases to large kitchen utensil holders, these ceramics add visual style to all kinds of home decor.
Gallery of the Mountains proudly showcases pieces from the Brenna Dee Ceramics collection. Choose something and experience one potter’s enchantment with crystals.