Mark Barta fell in love with clay at Shawnee Mission East High School under the tutelage of a great potter/teacher named Shelley Trewolla and continued to hone his craft at Kansas State University under Distinguished Professor Yoshiro Ikeda. Sadly, numbers called to Mark louder than clay and he followed a path into accounting as a profession.

The world of Mutual Funds couldn’t hold him too tightly, though. Making pots continues to be his passion and he’s set up his own studio where he actively makes wheel-thrown work. Recently, he’s been exploring texture on his pots with the use of The Steve Tool, a sodium silicate technique, or basic manipulation of the clay itself. His glaze work continues to be well-received in online potters’ groups (like this one) that trade information and share photos of glaze combinations and results.

Mark has promised more information and a game plan of what he will be doing on his Valentines Day Second Saturday, but we’ll definitely ask him to demonstrate how he uses The Steve Tool (we’ll also make sure to get that part on video to share!) and he’ll probably show other throwing and texturing techniques. Just keep in mind he’s here for pottery stuff, not to help with your mutual fund, even though he’s an awesome accountant during the day.

Slideshow posted prior to Mark’s Second Saturday appearance to provide a preview of his style of work. Photos courtesy Mark Barta.

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