BiographyJere Huffman was born in 1946. He graduated from Luther College in 1968. At Luther, he and his wife Kate were enrolled in pottery classes which led them to attend the summer Pond Farm workshops founded by Marguerite Wildenhain. Jere attended Pond Farm in 1968, 1972, and with Kate in 1973. Influenced by these experiences, they established their pottery in What Cheer, Iowa, in 1972. The pottery was built from an abandoned sewer pipe factory which had many beehive kilns which, in turn, had fire brick for their needs. After mining the brick, they built a kiln. They currently have a small studio in the office building of an old clay factory.
The platter in the Pond Farm Collection, The Dancers, was thrown by Jere and glazed and decorated by Kate. The clay was wheel-thrown with a wax resist design and fired to 2200 degrees.
The Huffmans have limited production since they make all their pottery themselves. Their current technique is to brush a wax resistant design on top of the first glaze, and then place a second glaze over that. Once each piece has been glazed, it is fired in an electric kiln for a second time to melt all of the glazes that have been applied. This process also vitrifies the clay into a finished piece. Each ball of clay takes about two months to become a finished piece of pottery.
Source of BiographyRipples: Marguerite Wildenhain and her Pond Farm Students. Curated by Billie Sessions. San Bernardino, CA: California State University, 2002;
Pond Farm Collection: Works of Art Created by Students Who Studied with Marguerite Wildenhain at her Pond Farm Studio. Text by Jane Kemp. Decorah, IA: Luther College, 2003;