Deborah Buco

Clay / Baton Rouge, LA

Artist Statement

I love Louisiana and feel that it is a charming and unique place to live. Louisiana’s flora and fauna are the focus of my pottery designs -- featuring images of pelicans, herons, honeybees, dragonflies, redfish, and alligators in habitats of palmetto, cattails, and Louisiana irises and flowers. My goal is to create technically perfect pottery forms and then use them as canvases for beautiful artwork. I hope that my work conveys my keen appreciation of Louisiana’s environment and encourages others to value and protect it.

My work is functional and decorative, created on the potter’s wheel or hand built from white stoneware or porcelain clay. Most of my work utilizes a sgraffito technique with various colored underglazes. The partially dried pottery is painted with underglaze and then a sgraffito tool is used to carve away the background, leaving a unique and original design. The process is like drawing in reverse as I am taking away the background and adding finely carved detail lines. Next the pottery is bisque fired, then glazed, and given a final firing in the kiln. I also enjoy drawing fine line designs in my work using a technique called mishima. After carving into the leather hard clay and filling in the lines with black underglaze, various other colors are used to hand paint the design before glazing and firing. All pieces are glazed and then fired at cone 5 - 6. The pottery glazes are lead free and food safe.


Baton Rouge has been my home for my entire life. I grew up, married, and raised four boys here and hope to be here for many years to come. After the Buco kids “flew the coop” and I retired from teaching, I started throwing pottery again -- the beginnings of Empty Nest Enterprises, LLC. I have no formal training in pottery – it is truly a passion of mine and I have taken many classes and workshops over the past 8 years to expand my skills. I feel that I am constantly learning and challenging myself while having a great time while doing it!

I have a studio at my home with two potter’s wheels, two kilns, a slab roller, and two golden retrievers who love to eat clay! Life is good! My work is currently available at the monthly downtown Baton Rouge Arts Market.