James West was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His large family includes musicians, actors, painters, photographers, jewelers, and potters. He apprenticed and later worked in the pottery studio of Robert Brodsky and studied Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico 1989-1992. In the 1990s he worked in New Hampshire as a thrower in a large stoneware pottery studio firing with salt. James designs and throws our collection while managing overall production for Hanselmann Pottery.
Jessica Penrod was born in 1994 in Pinetop, Arizona. She moved to Albuquerque, to attend the University of New Mexico and pursue an education in Fine Arts and received her BFA with a focus in ceramics. She began studying as a painter, but shortly after learning how to throw on the potter’s wheel, she has transitioned into creating functional vessels. At Hanselmann Pottery, Jessi throws our core line of ceramics, glazes, loads kilns, and assists in social media marketing and online orders.
Luke Parker was born in Minneapolis Minnesota to a family of misguided Laplanders. He spent most of his early life in the Dakotas and the Northwest before moving to New Mexico. He has studied, traveled, taken a degree, worked in disparate vocations and intervals and now fires the kilns, procures minerals, tests glazes, and assists with sales and marketing at Hanselmann Pottery.
Shane A. Silva, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, discovered his love of pottery during high school, and quickly found himself at home in the ceramics studio. Determined to turn his obsession into a career, Shane pursued a degree in ceramics from the University of New Mexico, participated in a research trip to Arita, Japan, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2017. The functionality of the art medium, and the process itself, are the greatest sources of inspiration in his work. At Hanselmann Pottery, Shane assists in all aspects of creating our pottery, from throwing, to reprocessing clay, to loading kilns.
Esther Fredrickson is an accomplished classical flutist, playing professionally with symphony orchestras in New Mexico and Texas. But she's always had other interests as well, including ceramics, adobe construction, and backpacking. At Hanselmann Pottery, Esther handles customer service, social media marketing, online orders, wholesale accounts, and bookkeeping.
Melissa Agate was born & raised on the Southern Coast of Australia. She takes care of all of our Graphic Design, Branding and Product Photography. Outside of Hanselmann Pottery Melissa is a Freelance Graphic Designer & Photographer, Visual Artist & Musician. She also likes to ride bicycles, observe (obsessively) cloud formations and explore nature.
Evan D. Small was born in Denver, Colorado, but raised on the east coast. At the age of 21 he woke from a deep sleep hearing his own mouth say the words “New Mexico”. He moved to Albuquerque sight-unseen to go to art school at the University of New Mexico; whereupon, he received his Bachelors and Masters degree in Art & Art History. He spent most of that time studying ceramics in both Western and Eastern (Japanese) throwing (pottery) practices.
Rachel Reynolds was born in Taos, New Mexico. She spent the majority of her early childhood in the Black Hills of South Dakota before traveling throughout Mexico, Central America, and the West Coast. She found, in the course of her travels, that crafting by hand is a tradition worth preserving. Her decision to invest in Hanselmann Pottery made the notion real.