About Bradley

Bradley SpeerBradley’s clay adventure began in 1990, as a senior biology major and student-athlete at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Needing an art credit to satisfy his graduation requirements, Bradley registered for Ceramics 101 on the recommendation of a coach who was friends with the instructor. Soccer, senior-itis and California sunshine distracted this emergying artist from additional clay pursuits but the muddy medium would eventually find its way back into his life.

After graduating and going on to study physical therapy at Pacific University, Bradley began re-exploring his creativity. He starting with furniture building at the Oregon College of Arts & Crafts and then registered for ceramics at Portland Community College. It was here that he refined his throwing techniques and first learned about salt-firing from instructor Richey Bellinger.

Salt-firing is a vapor-glazing process where salt (sodium chloride) is introduced into a kiln firebox at high temperatures. This creates glazed surfaces and patterns like “onion skin” and “orange peel”. These effects, plus salt’s unpredictability and blending capabilities, sparked (literally!) a new area of clay concentration for Bradley – kiln-firing.

Bradley returned to OCAC for a firing techniques class taught by Jim Kouldelka. He now fires electric and gas kilns, in reduction and for salt/soda firings at a variety of temperatures. while he appreciates the work that can be created in these environments, his favorite continues to be cone 10 with salt.

Bradley’s work is predominantly wheel thrown functional pieces glazed in a variety of tasty colors that naturally embrace the textures created by salt. Many feature surface decoration or a “sidedness” that was created by the movement of salt around the piece during the kiln-firing process. No two pieces are alike and each is meant to be used, experience and enjoyed.