Debra Nelson - lantern 2
Debra Nelson - lantern 1

Debra Nelson

Chehalem Mountain Pottery

I got ‘hooked’ to clay while in high school. I was fortunate enough to go to
a school that had a great ceramics program. I continued my ceramic studies
later when I attended Portland State University. I continued working in clay
for about 10 years, eventually building a 24 cubic foot downdraft gas kiln.
Firing it by myself for the first time was probably one of the scariest things
I’ve ever done, almost on par with sky diving.

As life went on I eventually stopped working in clay until my husband, Larry,
suggested we take a ceramics class together. The saying “it’s like riding a
bike” is really apropos. It seemed like my hands just knew what to do. Now,
we have a new home built with a ceramics studio in mind. We both enjoy
working in the studio together, although we don’t collaborate much and our
styles are wildly different we do get great suggestions and ideas from each

We are looking forward to future growth in ceramics, expanding our firing
techniques to include wood and soda firing. There always seems to be
something new to try and endless inspiration providing fodder for new
ideas for years to come.


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