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Bill van Gilder


A professional potter for more than 45 years, Bill van Gilder began his clay work at age 15, as a studio apprentice to the late Byron Temple. During the following years he apprenticed in Ireland and England, and received a degree from Harrow School of Art, London, U.K.. He then established and managed two large training pottery centers in Southern Africa (Lesotho & Swaziland) under the auspices of The World Bank. Bill returned to the U.S. in 1979 and established a studio and craft gallery atop South Mountain in Central Maryland, which he continues to operate today.

van Gilder has served on the faculty of The Art League, Alexandria, VA, and was founder/director of The Frederick Pottery School, Frederick, MD. He currently leads workshops nationally and internationally on pottery forming, decorating, and firing techniques, as well as workshops on kiln building. Bill has designed a line of professional potter’s tools (van Gilder ClayTools) available on this website and through retailers nationwide.

Bill also wrote a regular ‘Teaching Techniques’ column for Clay Times magazine (USA), and was the creator, writer and host of Throwing Clay, an internationally televised  DIY Network Television 30-part series about making pottery.

His clay work is exhibited and held in collections worldwide. It has been featured in

ceramic periodicals including Clay Times, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramic Review (UK), Ceramic Arts (China), Sgraffito (S. Africa), and books including 500 Teapots and High Fire  Glazes (Lark Books), Salt Glazing (A&C Black, London), and The Art of American Ceramics (Krause Books) and more. van Gilder authored Wheel-Thrown Pottery, a cooperative book venture by Lark Books and the DIY Television Network.


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