About Kris


As a kid I remember a feeling of great happiness and anticipation whenever a craft project was introduced at school; the paper sculpture of the Santa Maria, the trace-your-hand turkey picture, the ever-popular macaroni mosaic.

You know what I’m talking about.

In my little mind, all of it was just THE BEST. It was evident that art and craft would be playing a role in whatever I did with my life.

My interest in ceramics didn’t develop until late in high school when I was able to spend blissful hours after classes, absorbed in clay and insipid 80’s rock, until the janitors had to kick me out at five so they could lock up the studio.

I went on to study ceramics at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a BFA in 1990.

Settling in Western Massachusetts soon after that, I found employment at a small clay supplier and began developing my own line of ceramics, officially starting Zyra Clay Studio in 2002.

The work has changed a bit since then, becoming brighter and more consistent as I experimented with glazes and refined my throwing style, eventually morphing into the Zyraware we all know and love today.



The origin of “Zyra”

The name “Zyra” comes from a classic sci fi movie circa 1951 called When Worlds Collide.

In the story a huge planet, which the astronomers called Bellus, and a smaller satellite planet they named Zyra are discovered to be on a collision course with Earth.  With a lot of hard work, back biting and, eventually, heroic self sacrifice, a handful of people build a rocket ship in a desperate bid to escape the impending apocalypse.  Finally, as the gravitational pull of the enormous Bellus is tearing Earth apart, the hopeful ship shoots down what looks like an over-sized ski jump and launches into orbit just in the nick of time.

Fortunately, Zyra is left untouched by the celestial disaster and after a short flight seated comfortably in their wicker chairs, the pioneers land on its surface. They emerge from the shuttle to a glorious landscape festooned with lovely space flowers. Happily, the atmosphere is compatible and the proliferation of the human species is assured. It’s a wonderful new day on the planet Zyra!


Compelling, isn’t it?

Really I just liked the name.

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