Dirty Dog Pottery

About the Artist


How I got here was accidental, overall. It started with a sports injury which slowed me down. I had the time to spend with my family's wheel and clay, and found throwing mud a pretty good way to pass the time.

Then I discovered fire. A neighbor heard about horsehair pottery and wondered if I could do something with his horse's hair. I could. I did, and the rest of equestrian community lined up to give me practice.

The rest is history. Although I do work with traditional glazes, my favorite work comes from the Raku kiln. The formal forms I throw wear color in unexpected ways after the process. No two pieces are alike, no matter how similar their preparation. My task as an artist is to predict, as best I can, what might happen to the form I throw and glaze as it moves through the process.



I began my journey in Preston, Idaho, the daughter of dairy farmers. My childhood days left an impression that is part of who I am today. My seven brothers and sisters and I worked hard at daily farm chores. However, it was the many hours spent creating my own worlds in the fields, barns, and down by the Snake river that I remember. This beginning helped me to find beauty in the simple things that surround our everyday lives.

During high school I discovered my love for Art. Clay quickly became my favorite way of creating and finding peace. I spent a year at the University of New Mexico trying to absorb as much from the Native clay community as I possibly could.

During my career as a teacher, I began a ceramics program at the school where I taught, and hosted art shows for the students’ work. Now I focus full time on the work that let's me play in the dirt all day.

Pat and Hil-Dee Bates

Hil-Dee and Patrick married in summer 2011, and now combine their skills and passion for the artform. Learning from each other's strengths, together they create something new, adding to the portfolio of natural elegance that is Dirty Dog Pottery.