Love of pottery comes from touch. You pick up a piece, turn it in your hands and the connection begins. Its beauty is sensory; its functionality revealed when it becomes part of your personal collection.

In Minnesota, an epicenter of pottery, the approach to creating ceramic or porcelain work varies. Some potters throw pots; some mold them. Some use mixtures of glazes and applications to create distinctive motifs. And each kiln process varies as much as the works born from every unique firing.

Connee Mayeron and her husband, Fuller Cowles, collaborate at their Taylors Falls farm. Mayeron hand glazes magnificent celadon and gold pieces that sometimes include a sand texture. Collections of plates are uniquely formed with rustic edges.

In contrast, Joanna Craw's vessels are formed with smooth curves, then glazed in calming matte white and mint-green tones. She has mastered the molded pouring edge for her collection of perfect pitchers in her St. Paul studio, Fringe & Fettle Ceramics.

Earth tones and rustic shapes are a hallmark of Jeff Burger's work. He's happy to share his process with those who visit his Bemidji studio to see the wood-fired kiln he built himself, and the formative pottery that comes from it.

Also steeped in Minnesota's rustic landscape, potter Matthew Krousey is inspired by his Harris surroundings. Flora and fauna patterns appear in his works, like colored shadows cast from the Midwestern sunshine.

Richard Vincent, too, pulls from nature's shapes. Working from his North Branch home studio, he mimics botanical leaves in deep green glazes.

Each potter forms finished pieces using imagination, intuition and inspired, creative clay process. They are why Minnesota continues to be one of the top potting areas in the country.

Mint "Scoop" pottery pitcher, $80,

Two-leaf green vase, $65,

Barred bowl, $60, large pitcher, $45, tumbler, $18,

Stack of bowls, set of three, $300,

Large platter, $500,

Stoneware plate, $125,

Large vase, $175,

Fluted tumblers, set of two, $60,

Green vase, $95,

Small pitcher, $24,

Correction: A previous version misstated the location of Jeff Burger's studio.