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Peter Sohngen

Biography to Display: 


1958 BA English, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

1962 MA English, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California

1969 MFA Ceramics, New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University, Alfred, New York



1962-1966 English teacher, Robert College, Istanbul, Turkey

1969 – 2002 Associate Professor, ceramics, Memphis Academy of Art (Memphis College of Art), Memphis, Tennessee


Peter Sohngen is known for functional stoneware pottery. He has also worked in terra cotta creating a series of sculptures. The surfaces of the functional work are often decorated with quickly applied slip or slip-trailing. The fundamental result is classic thrown and wood fired pottery. Sohngen has raku fired throughout his career having created a corbeled arch raku kiln.

His education in clay began when he, “first learned to throw pots from a village potter in Turkey, and then as a potter’s apprentice in the salt glazing district of Germany.”[1]


Sohngen is an influential clay educator in Memphis, Tennessee. Two of his students are Dale Baucum and Agnes Stark.


[1] Peter Sohngen, Forrest Merrill/ Dane Cloutier Archive.




Bibliography to Display: 

Parks, Dennis. A Potter’s Guide to Raw Glazing and Oil Firing. New York, NY: Scribner’s, 1980.

Triplett, Kathy. Handbuilt Ceramics: Pinching, Coiling, Extruding, Molding, Slip Casting, Slab Work. Asheville, NC: Lark Books, 1989.

Troy, Jack. Salt-Glazed Ceramics. New York, NY: Watson-Guptill, 1977.

Turner, Anderson. Glazing Techniques. Westerville, OH: American Ceramic Society, 2014.



Typical Marks

Sohngen often added a coded mark to indicate the clay body used.

ca 1970
ca 1975
Covered Jar
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Slip
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives

Citation: Clark, Donald. "The Marks Project." Last modified March 15, 2022.