Owner of Hickory Flat Pottery
Cody Trautner creates organically. Exploring the artistry of producing highly functional and decorative ware.
After taking pottery courses in high school, Trautner established his own small studio and began working with clay. In 2010, he earned a BFA in ceramics from Minnesota State University of Moorhead (MSUM)— after which he taught wheel throwing and hand building ceramics. In May 2012, he became a resident potter at Hickory Flat Pottery, where he is now owner. His current work focuses on functional pottery and experimenting with salt fired pieces. His most recent creations are inspired by the foothills of Georgia, where he strives to capture time and place.
His growing body of work is rooted in nature, heritage and culture, featuring both traditional and experimental design. Patient, with a whimsical quality that values discovery, Cody’s vision prizes spontaneity. His reward: the pleasure of seeing others use and share the unique pots he brings to life. In his studio, you’ll glimpse the topography of hills and fields. The spark and release of his creativity are rooted in Appalachian influences: from his current surroundings at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as his Minnesota and Native American ancestry. Hunting, fishing and camping during his youth fashioned the temperament of an artist who listens, responds and releases control. The marks he makes, the pieces he builds, forever surprise him, taking on lives of their own. He respects design and shape; history and our drive to expand it. His pots are inspired by the day-to-day, but they refuse to be ordinary. His materials challenge expectation. Salt and clay and metal expand and run, continuing a conversation between earth shaped by hand and the mysterious alchemy of the kiln. In his creations, the strike of form and the flow of heat yield a physical reminder of our evolving world. This bridge between artistry and nature reminds us to slow down, to see, to appreciate. To let go, until beauty is ready to reveal itself.