Many thanks to the Jacksonville Review for this wonderful article on John Dodero in preparation for the upcoming 40th Annual Clayfolk Show & Sale, Nov. 20 – 22.  

If you have a homeless orchid, you may need a cachepot, crafted by Jacksonville potter, John Dodero. Likewise, if you yearn for an urn, potter John may have just the thing.

Red Volcano Cachepot by John Dodero

Dodero specializes in raku—a type of pottery fired to red-hot temperatures and then pulled abruptly from the kiln, only to be plunged into organic, combustible matter that changes any exposed clay to a graphite black. His colorful glazes are intentionally designed to crack—or as potters say, “craze”—on the pot’s surface. The result is a beautiful jigsaw-puzzle pattern of crazing, accentuated by delicate black lines.

Dodero pots are strikingly uniform. The reason lies in his forming techniques. The pots are made by pouring clay into plaster molds—but not the kind that turns out the China cats your Aunt Ethyl paints. These are large molds crafted by John himself. Aside from uniformity, the advantage is thinness: John’s pots are amazingly light in weight for their size.

While cremation urns have been his best-sellers—mainly online and through funeral homes—he produces several other designs. Cachepots, in case the term rings no bells for you, is a French word for decorative containers in which plants are grown. (Unlike a conventional planter, a cachepot has no hole in the bottom.) John also makes “volcano pots,” designed to bring their namesake to mind.

Dodero has lived in the Jacksonville area since 1977, but he also has a background in the Southwest, where he first learned about clay and first developed an appreciation for Native American ceramic vessels, particularly as a result of a workshop with famed Pueblo potter, Maria Martinez. Primarily, however, he is self-taught—and, in fact, has had to invent techniques and glazes that would allow his inner vision to become tangible works of art. His current designs blend the shapes of Southwestern pottery with gravity-defying forms from Japan, the birthplace of the raku technique. The brilliant, solid colors are also John’s own idea—and quite unusual for raku ware. “The last 25 years have been spent exploring Asian motifs and finding a fusion/commonality with the West,” he says.

Clayfolk_Jville_5x8_NOV2015You can see pictures of this artist’s work online, at his website: Even better, you can meet him and hold one of his pots in your hands at the upcoming 40th Annual Clayfolk Show and Sale, November 20th, 21st, and 22nd, 2015 in the Medford Armory. It’s the largest clay art show in Southern Oregon. And it’s the weekend before Thanksgiving: the perfect time for holiday shopping.

The Clayfolk event will feature more than sixty clay artists, most from Southwestern Oregon—but some as far away as Bend, Portland, and Northern California. There is no admission fee.

Holiday shoppers at the show will find both decorative and the functional pottery, including dinnerware, jewelry, tiles, sculpture, and garden art, crafted in porcelain, stoneware, earthenware, along with Mr. Dodero’s raku. (There will be a few other raku potters there, too.)

The doors are open Friday from 4:00-9:00pm, on Saturday from 10:00am to 7:00pm, and on Sunday from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The best selection, of course, will be available when the show commences on Friday afternoon at 4:00pm—coincidentally, when the live music begins. Saturday and Sunday shoppers can see pottery-making demonstrations by participating clay artists, and children will have the opportunity for hands-on clay experiences on Saturday (10:00am-5:00pm) and Sunday (11:00am-3:00pm).

The Medford Armory is located at 1701 South Pacific Highway. For last-minute information, please go to the Clayfolk web site at or visit us on Facebook at

Featured image above is Jacksonville, Oregon pottery artist, John Dodero with visitors in his workshop.

Jacksonville Article here.