Behind the small showroom of Horseshoe Mountain Pottery, as a burning stick of incense encircles the potter with a soft aroma, Joe Bennion taps an even rhythm on the pedal of his kickwheel and throws another lump of clay onto the center of the wheelhead. A cut piece of watermelon, a lucky haul from the Bennion’s garden, lies on a countertop. On a parallel counter, a small cash box where patrons leave checks and cash for the ceramics they take away from Bennion’s shelves lies open. The workspace’s walls are filled with an eclectic mix of images and slogans — an LDS poster with an image of Jesus is a few feet from a scarlet, Leninist flag, while surrounding the potter are photos of his family. A bumper sticker reading “Kill Your Television” graces the lintel of the doorway that leads to the storeroom. Sometime this week, Bennion will load up his wood-burning kiln and fire this new batch of pots in time for his September 13th Studio Sale.
The founder of Artists of Utah and editor of its online magazine, 15 Bytes, Shawn Rossiter has undergraduate degrees in English, French and Italian Literature and studied Comparative Literature in graduate school before pursuing a career in art.