Dennis Swartzlander, of Blackland Ceramics, would say that his work is the counterpoint to a forty-year career in his family printing business. That process was geared towards accurate reproduction according to customer standards. With his bottles and vases, he allows for the opposite outcome. Swartzlander continually explores new forms, colors, finishes, and variations. Using simple forms allows for many possibilities as glazes interact with one another and move over the pieces in various
ways. To some extent the pieces also speak to the solitude of time alone in the studio with no interruptions to the flow of making, glazing, and firing. Most of his is thrown and altered, and glaze fired to over 2300 degrees in a gas reduction atmosphere. Presently, Swartzlander teaches beginner and advanced wheel throwing at Siena Heights University as well as an adult community class.