Julie Olson - Mixed Media Towers

Past Work

Shrine with wood, Raku, handmade book, metal, glass, paint

Mixed Media Shrines

I've made these shrines to hold the memories of beloved pets; an urn to hold the ashes, a book to hold photos and stories, and a small bud vase to hold a flower.
View the Shrines Gallery

Thrown, altered box. Beige glaze with metal hinges and latch.

Lidded Boxes

To me, boxes represent the unknown. Each box and lid is thrown, then altered in shape, and assembled. After the final firing, the hinges, chains and glass beads, all of which I make, are added.
View the Box Gallery

"The Boys"

After taking a Kinetic Books class at Penland School of Crafts, I incorporated some of that information into "The Boys" as a study in movement. Soon they took on a life of their own and became these whimsical characters.
View "The Boys" Gallery

Thrown, altered box. Beige glaze with metal hinges and latch.


My towers represent a place of sanctuary and safety. They are thrown and altered, and after firing I fabricate the doors and latches with wire and solder.
View the Towers Gallery

Functional Salt-Glazed

I derive a great deal of pleasure in creating pots that people will use in their everyday life. I also love that the salt-firing process completes the glazing of the pieces with interesting textures, colors and surprises. Unfortunately the life of a salt kiln is short, so I no longer fire with this method.
View the Functional Salt-Glazed Gallery


Raku generally refers to a type of low-firing process that was inspired by traditional Japanese raku firing. Western-style raku involves removing pottery from the kiln while at bright red heat and placing it into closed containers with combustible materials. This produces an intense reduction atmosphere which effects the colors in glazes and clay bodies. The drastic thermal shock also produces surface cracking, which is highlighted by the introduction of carbon.
View the Raku Gallery

Hand-Made Books

I am captivated by the process of creating a book. Compared to the lengthy cycle of pottery making, bookmaking allows me to realize a finished product in a matter of hours. My books are coptic bound, and made of acid free materials.
View the Hand-Made Books Gallery