Handcrafted ceramic vegetable steamers, bowls, casseroles, platters, mugs, plates, vases, hanging planters, French butter cups, condiment plates, and more.
Celebrating his twentieth year at the Aptos Farmers Market this year, ceramicist James Kachler is a true man of the earth. His beautiful pottery is a wonderful complement to the foods available at the market. Take for example his signature piece, the California Steamer. What vegetable lover doesn’t need a steamer? And this is not just a steamer; it is also an elegant serving dish. After the vegetables are steamed, you place the steamer on its matching plate, and take it to your table and voila — you have enhanced your dining experience!
When Jim isn’t single-handedly maintaining his home and 10 acre property in Carmel Valley, you can bet he is in his pottery studio, working. Jim’s dedication to his art has never wavered since he took his first pottery class as a student at Fullerton College in 1964. Since then, he has been making and selling pottery, and teaching others this wonderful craft. He continues to explore and develop new directions in the medium. What he loves most about pottery is that it is a constant learning experience — each time he throws a piece on the wheel or opens the kiln to reveal the finished product — it’s an exciting discovery process.
Jim uses stoneware clay to make the functional pieces in which he specializes. The clay is a custom blend of East Coast materials made by East Bay Clay in Richmond, CA and aptly named Parrot Ranch Pottery Clay. Each item is handcrafted either on the wheel, by hand-building, or a combination of techniques. Pots are fired twice in a gas-fired kiln — first in bisque firing at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, and then pots are glazed at a temperature of 2400 degrees Fahrenheit. He mixes his own glazes that range from beautiful blues to rich earth tones. Jim is happy to share all of this formulas and his knowledge with anyone; he mails his glaze recipes to potters all around the world. His most popular color is “country blue.”
A gifted instructor, James has taught pottery to students at Rio Hondo College and at his studio. He made a difference in the lives of many students; several sought him out years later to thank him for the encouragement he gave them, and to share with him their personal successes.
Jim’s work can be found in galleries in California and across the US. He has received numerous awards. Jim’s pottery is available for sale at his booth every Saturday at the Aptos Farmers Market.
To view more of Jim’s pottery, please visit his website at www.parrotranchpottery.com. Many pieces can be ordered online.