This early vase dates from Voulkos's student days at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. The following year, along with fellow Montanan Rudy Autio, he became one of the first resident potters at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena. The Bray had no formal instructors or curriculum, and was partially funded by serial wares made by the students. By making pot after pot, Voulkos's growing expertise was soon equalled by his fame as he entered national ceramic competitions. This vase displays Voulkos's control on the wheel and the broad, Asian-inspired brushstrokes made popular through the work of influential potters Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, who made a special visit to the Archie Bray Foundation during Voulkos's tenure.