Royal Palm PotteryRoyal Palm PotteryRoyal Palm PotteryRoyal Palm Pottery
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We are pleased to share our hand-crafted artisan work with you. Each piece is unique with its own variations in form, features and color. It's what makes studio ceramics special. There's much to see about Royal Palm Pottery and ceramic arts here. So, take your time, look around. We hope you enjoy our site.
Handmade Ceramic Creations by
Louis and Valerie Cristo, Royal Palm Pottery
Royal Palm Pottery is a pottery studio operated by Louis and Valerie Cristo. The studio produces handmade ceramics, both functional and decorative, as well as ceramic jewelry pieces.
Louis developed a passion for his ceramic art over 25 years ago and has been wheel throwing and building handmade stoneware pottery pieces ever since. He learned from some wonderful teachers in Upstate New York, where pottery masters from Alfred University Ceramic Arts and regional ceramics artists maintain a strong presence. Louis enjoys creating functional pieces but also honors the decorative artistic element of pottery by creative glaze and texture work.
Valerie Cristo is a ceramic artist with a talent for creating artistic floral hand built pieces and natural elements from stoneware, as well as intricate ceramic jewelry components. Lou and Val often collaborate on pottery design elements and glaze treatment. The kiln openings are always the highlights of the week for Lou and Val, when the culmination of their efforts reveals itself. They are honored to share their results with their friends and loyal customers of Royal Palm Pottery.
Pottery is one of the oldest forms of decorative art. White it has served the critical purpose of creating vessels necessary for survival, it has also allowed artistic expression for thousands of years. It is believed that clay was first used as a liner for woven baskets, and as it was discovered it became impervious to liquids as it dried, its use became more widespread.
Originally, hand built and coiled pots were used for food storage and transport.
Most sources report that the pottery wheel was first utilized by the Sumerians. There were remarkably inventive people. Absent easy access to lumber or stone, they were the first group to mass produce wheel thrown vessels and clay bricks for construction.The ancient Egyptians, it is believed, later employed the use of kilns to “fire” bricks and pots to remove moisture and organics from the products. Early Egyptian pottery kilns were tapered and conical shaped, directing hot air around the products, from below, venting in a chimney above, believed to be the first updraft kilns.The Greeks became known the world over for their creation of beautifully decorated and shaped forms. Much of modern knowledge of Greek events, activities and daily life is derived from the representations contained on Greek ceramic vessels. In the Roman Empire, pottery manufacture and workshops became widespread, and Roman earthenware dishes and bowls were circulated throughout the civilized world at the time.
East Asia is the source of discovery of early prehistoric ceramic art. A site known as the Immortal’s Cave in southeast China may have contained the first known pottery community production of cooking vessels, dating back to 15,000 BCE. Chinese pottery, however, is best known for its use of porcelain. Porcelain is a stark white product when fired that serves as an amazing canvas for detailed decorative glaze work. Mixed primarily from Kaolin on ‘China clay’, porcelain found its way to Europe in medieval times and the Europeans attempted to replicate it, with limited success.In the present day, porcellanous stoneware clay is still in use in the pottery studio.It is challenging when wheel-thrown, but many studio potters highly value its use for decoration and translucence, allowing light to pass through a thin-walled ceramic piece.
Studio Pottery Today
The studio potters of the present day have at their disposal a storied history of pottery production and have shown creativity in the use of these various elements, methods and forms over the years. Individual handmade pieces of studio ceramics may be just as likely to be created in an open pit as was done thousands of years ago as in an industrial grade gas-fired kiln. Clay materials mined by hand can create the most elemental form of the art or sophisticated electronic firing techniques can now grow multi-colored zinc-silicate crystals on glazed pieces that are without equal in their beauty.
The potters at Royal Palm Pottery are pleased to have their friends and customers allow them to express themselves in the creation of functional and decorative pottery pieces, acknowledging the illustrious history of the generations of potters from antiquity to the present day.
Please view our current work in our studio, at one of our art shows or galleries displaying our work, as listed below.
Raku pottery is over 500 years old, having been designed for Zen Buddhist tea ceremonies. It is a natural firing process that incorporates clay, fire, water and organic materials. A raku firing provides a modern potter with immediate results because a raku pottery piece is extracted by hand from a kiln while it is still red hot at about 1800°. It also provides a modern potter the most heartache because of the very volatile process of high heat and rapid cooling.
In one adaptation of the heating and cooling process, metallic oxides are drawn out of the glaze components, creating lustrous iridescent metallic colors. In another, single mane and tail hairs of a horse are applied by hand in a brief instant to a glowing hot piece to create a unique lasting decoration on bare clay pieces.
Some dramatic results are achieved in the raku process.
To mimic nature’s most gentle gift to us, the flower, is a challenge. Valerie Cristo’s floral designs are a means to capture this natural beauty in your home. We promise the vibrancy of an endless summer in your home with the pieces shown below.Val has also captured the playfulness of the simple mushroom in an explosion of colors.
Please let us help you customize your home with pieces designed for your kitchen, bedroom, home office or bath. Whether hand built or thrown on a potter’s wheel, these pieces are each unique and promise to add a touch of depth and warmth to your daily activities. There is no higher praise for us than to learn that your friends and guests might see or handle a Royal Palm piece and offer the simple comment, “I like that”. Please enjoy the items displayed here or feel free to contact us about how we might adapt our work to suit your tastes or specific décor.
Valerie Cristo’s first and most enduring line of work are reflected in the hand building of jewelry components. They require a deft touch and a great deal of patience. We think you will enjoy the results.
Every artisan creates pieces that they themselves believe best convey a message of visual intrigue. Lou and Val select these pieces which, it is hoped, you agree, best represent their interpretation of the composition of the natural elements through pottery. These one-of-a-kind pottery pieces are intended to capture the beauty of harmonious form, texture and color that can be achieved in ceramic art.