Seagrove Pottery Samantha Henneke is co-owner of Bulldog Pottery. Samantha was born in Tallahassee, Florida and moved with her family to Blacksburg, Virginia where she celebrated her first birthday. Both parents worked at Virginia Tech, her father is a professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics and her mother worked as an executive administrative assistant in the Physics Department. Samantha attended Virginia Tech and took a ceramics class in the spring of 1991, immediately falling in love with Alfred University in the fall of 1992. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Ceramics in 1995. Samantha and Bruce moved to Seagrove, NC in 1997 and founded Bulldog Pottery.
I respond to working with smooth texture clays such as porcelain or white stoneware for the brilliant color response glazes have when applied to its white surface. I enjoy decorating the surface of the pots I make, and many times I will design the clay forms for particular glazing techniques. My approach to surface decoration varies depending on my choice of glazes, the type of firing, and my current mood. Sometimes I like to decorate my decorative functional pottery with a simple swirl of slip or numerous dots can be an example of how a tight patterning can affect ones vision which creates an op-art effect of movement and vibrations. Other times I will use intricate techniques for imagery such as cuerda seca. I am fascinated and inspired by the intricacies of the insect world. Our molybdenum crystalline glazes and its unusual star pattern and iridescence reminds me of insects' iridescence body colors. When creating my ceramic wall paintings I enjoy juxtaposing insects, flora, and sometimes figures together to create fantastical garden scenes.