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Man masters the challenge of throwing at the pottery wheel

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Jack Bunyard has been throwing on the wheel for around three years. He throws at the Art House in Connersville.
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Jack Bunyard throws the opposite way on the wheel, while most only throw this way to trim.

By KATE THURSTON - kthurston@newsexaminer.com

The first time he started throwing on the pottery wheel, Jack Bunyard said, “There is no way I am going to be able to do this.” A few more tries hooked him.

“As a little kid I played with clay in the creek, I would make marbles for my slingshot out of clay,” he laughed. “I would make faces with clay, I just really enjoyed it.”

Bunyard, who is retired and previously operated a cleaning service, has two loves: plants and pottery.

“Right before I retired, I thought to myself, ‘They have this place now (The Art House) and maybe I should try it out. I learned about the Art House through friends and it was about three years ago I started making pottery.”

From there on out, Bunyard kept going back, making new pieces and learning more and more about the art of pottery. He fell in love with the craft.

“I taught myself how to throw on the wheel, mainly because I’m stubborn,” he laughed. “I actually throw the opposite way most people do.”

Now, Bunyard makes so many pieces he has to sell them.

“Since my loves are plants and pottery, I put the two together. I do succulents. I fire pots for my succulents and this year took them to Farmer’s Pike Festival and sold a table full in one day. I have three greenhouses at home I also work in.”

Bunyard also sells his art at many other events throughout the area.

“Most of my work I sell, and it’s not to make money, it’s just because I run out of places to keep it,” he said. “I do have some pieces that I have at home that I have kept for myself.”

Nature plays a big role in Bunyard’s art style. 

“Most all my pottery reflects nature. I love nature, I love to hike and walk trails, kayak, I love bringing it into my pottery.”

Bunyard carves leaves and vines in many of his pieces, reflecting his love for nature.

“Pottery is therapy to me, all art is therapy. It’s just like, you can be throwing at the wheel or decorating a piece, no matter what was thrown at you during the day, you aren’t thinking about it. It’s my therapy, my release. Each time you throw, it just gets better.”

Staying active keeps Bunyard busy and he doesn’t see himself giving up the art of pottery.

Bunyard said, “Work at what you love to do. I’ve never stopped enjoying it, I enjoy life.”

As for those who are intimidated by art of trying to throw on the wheel, Bunyard says, “Just try it.”