Stephen Biggerstaﬀ is originally from coastal South Carolina and returned there to start his landscape design and construction company after college. Always digging in the dirt, working in clay seemed a likely way to broaden his creative way of life, so he took classes in a small ceramics studio in Charleston. Having played and ﬁshed along the pluﬀ mud banks of the rivers where he grew up, the clay felt intimate. It was this familiarity that brought him back around to clay full time when he sold his business and moved to Asheville, North Carolina.
Stephen immersed himself in the River Arts District in Asheville, taking classes and workshops to design an education in ceramics and deﬁne his special interests. After taking a workshop in colored clay with Lana Wilson, he focused on colored clay and hand-building techniques; this eventually, lead to assisting her at Arrowmont and Penland, where he honed his studio techniques and craftsmanship under her stewardship. During these dozen or so years of focused work in colored clay, he has enjoyed creating ceramics inspired by landscapes, soil proﬁles, and textiles. Most recently, Stephen’s been inﬂuenced by the brightly dyed rag rugs in his home. His current work explores layering colored porcelain slips onto thick slabs of clay that are stretched to expose the multiple layers of color. These stretched slabs reveal cracks and crevices once they are cut into strips and reassembled on a bisque mold. The concentric rows of strips around the mold create a ridged, bowl shaped, vessel. Interiors of the bowls are glazed a shiny or matte clear glaze to provide contrast to the unglazed exterior. Most earthenware bowls are ﬁred to 2167 degrees F, porcelain bowls are ﬁred to 2262 degrees F. Stephen works out of his private studio in downtown Asheville. He is represented by Mark Bettis Gallery in the River Arts District of Asheville.