Dakota King is a 17 year old Turlock High Student with a passion for pottery. Dakota began his craft in a high school pottery class. Patience, practice and persistence has deepened his skill on the pottery wheel with the end result of beautiful unique ceramics in an array of styles. Who knew high school could be so much fun?
What is your creative or educational background and history behind how you created your business?
I got into pottery during my freshman year when I took the class at school. But I didn't get really into it until my junior year where I started to excel and become a lot more consistent on the wheel.
How does your city/state influence your craft or how you do your work?
The city I live in influences my pottery to make more functional items. Things that are used everyday rather than vases. But I still make a few vases cause I enjoy making them.
Can you take us through your process from inspiration to final product?
To start I first make a decision on what I'm going to make whether it's a pitcher, mug, pot, etc. I like to decide on what I'm going to make before I make it because I feel it takes more skill to do that rather than go with the flow route. Then I decide on a weight for the clay, throw it on the wheel, and start throwing. About midway through the process, after getting the clay up into a cylinder, I start shaping to the way I want it. After the shaping I like to refine the rim to make it more desirable to the eye and trim the bottom a certain way so it is also pleasant to the eye. Lastly for the throwing portion, I use a wire to cut it off the wheel to be slowly dried. Probably after a day or two of drying the clay is in the in-between stages of hard and soft, this is called being leather hard and is the perfect time to trim off any excess clay on the bottom and make a foot. Also if I'm making a pot that requires any attachment, leather hard is a good time for that. Before being dried and put in the kiln to be fired, I either stamp or inscribe my signature into each pot. After being fired I then stir up and then glaze each pot to either be a set or it's own unique piece. Then it is fired one more time to be complete.
What is a standout or special moment in your creative work so far?
A stand out moment for my work is me creating large pots each over about 2-3 feet and weighing around 70 pounds. Those pots were different because I made them over a span of about a week for each one and I have made three total so far.
What dreams are on the horizon for the future of your brand?
Some dreams for my future would be getting a wheel and kiln of my own, so I can do this outside of high school.
Are you bringing anything new or special to Mod Shop this year that you are particularly excited about?
This is my first year but I plan on bringing at least one large pot.
Find King Pottery on Instagram @_king_pottery .