About Us

Who is Sierra Terra Cotta?
Sierra Terra Cotta is the pottery production studio of Stan Cheren, designer-craftsman, with roots in the North Carolina pottery tradition since 1960.

It all started with a summer ceramics workshop with Cynthia Bringle at the Penland School near Spruce Pine, NC in the 1960's. That's all it took for a fine arts painting major and art history minor from Florida State University to get captured by clay.

From there it was a variety of teaching positions in public and private schools, graduate studies in ceramics and jewelry at East Tennessee State University, a summer internship with master potter/designer Ron Burke in NY, a teaching post at "Arts and Crafts" in Detroit and then the creation of a crafts-centered community near Burnsville in the Western North Carolina mountains.
After an extended stay on the West Coast (don't ask), and a change from ^10 reduction to ^06 oxidation with terracotta clay bodies (can't burn down Century City), we packed up the studio and all our stuff and moved back home to the Piedmont in 2004. Now we're comfortably settled in Fearrington Village with our security system Tibetan Terrier, Zsa Zsa.

About my work
My work is all based on a traditional terracotta body. I use both a regional terracotta throwing body and casting slip. Pieces are combinations of thrown, cast, sprigged and incised design patterns. Firing is to ^04-06 oxidation with some 018 over-glaze highlights.

Glazing is a combination of a traditional majolica formula with the overglazes worked directly on top of the white unfired majolica base, and more often now, a triple fired bisque, base glaze and over-glaze sequences. Most of my work is fired 3-6 times to achieve the depth of color required. See the "Studio Video" on this site for a closer look.

The glazes are all food safe and can be microwaved (except those with metallic overglazes) and put into the dishwasher without concern - though larger platters and chargers are best hand-washed and dried. Our outdoor pieces like our bird feeders and planters have been tested through sub-freezing temperatures, snow and ice and are doing very well every season.
So that's where we've been and where we are now.
Come visit us at our regional shows and studio sales to see where we're going. And if you have a gallery or retail shop, we're always looking for new outlets for our work. 

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us. Bring some of your friends along next time. Send us your email address so we can let you know about our private studio sales and shows.