Below is a list of our current ceramic artists – both potters and sculptors. Feel free to click on underlined names to be taken to each artist’s website. Thanks for coming!
Artist Laura Peery has vivid memories of time spent in her grandmother’s New Orleans dress shop, College Frocks. The colorful fabrics, multiple textures and varied shapes influenced her thinking about how simple forms could be altered and magically transformed.
When Peery first discovered clay it was no surprise she was drawn to its ability to mimic fabric. Teapots, vases and doll-like figures, shaped from thin textured slabs of porcelain, are assembled as if from a dressmaker’s pattern. Color, applied in layers, gives the surfaces a soft, worn patina. Peery alters each piece until it is, to her eye, the right shape, color, and size—a perfect fit.
Laura Peery received an MFA from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Her work has been exhibited across the USA as well as in Taiwan and Canada and is in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC and the Fuller Museum of Craft in Brockton, MA. She is a new member of North Carolina’s Southern Highland Craft Guild.
My hope is that my work would be used to help celebrate the daily rituals of life and to make harmonious and beautiful surroundings. For me handmade and natural objects are integral to every good environment and the celebration of the moments that we live in.
Each hand-painted piece is made with the hope that it will delight those with whom it lives and engender an appreciation of the magic of the world in which we live.
Until recently, I was a painter in oils, focusing on landscape subjects. As the human figure began to emerge in my work, however, so did the desire to express myself with the physicality of clay.
My subjects explore themes of shared human experience; thus, the human figure- particularly the girl or woman- best expresses my ideas, my own voice. The human form is challenging and compelling, and ultimately expressive. My work invites identification, reflection, questioning and humor. I hope that it encourages my viewers to revisit their own stories, ideas and images.
Creativity is a conversation taking place between the artist and medium. As a hand builder, I enjoy using a process for coiling I call “Rough Coils.” Predominantly using a verdigris glaze, I work with clay while striving to express the clay’s own personality. I like to include the lumps, bumps and imperfections while sending my emotional memories throughout. I find that this approach allows the clay to be my muse. Some of my coil work includes “braids,” where I recall my grandmother’s gentle hands braiding my hair.
Chiwa works mostly in a white earthenware clay that she paints on with colored clays and then sgraffitoes through to the clay below. She then fires these pieces twice and finishes with a smokey firing leaving traces of hemlock boughs in shadows in the background. She also uses uplifting quotes on some of her pieces. She works as well with figurative sculpture, and functional stoneware tableware.
The first time I put my hands into clay, I knew I
had come home. Working in clay
is meditative, centering and a dialog I engage
in with the spirit inside me, that elusive part that can only be communicated with by listening.
I listen with my hands and my heart, exploring.
My work with clay is a way of honoring and expressing my sacred relationship with Nature and the Mystery. Working with clay, fire and dreams, my artwork is the practice of perceiving the sacred in the moment and honoring that truth, bringing sacred dreams from the mystery into the literal world.
Trish enjoys using references to the natural world in her work. Sometimes the work is figurative, sometimes abstract, sometimes functional.
Critters on wheels gives me an opportunity to honor the creatures I love through the expression of clay.
My work is functional and decorative, working at the wheel, handbuilding and often combining the two. I use two firing techniques: electric fired oxidation and gas fired raku. The work has a “wabi-sabi” aspect to it. Wabi-sabi represents a world view of acceptance of transience and imperfection and is derived from Buddhist teachings. Wabi-sabi is light hearted and hopeful and I believe many of my pieces capture that energy.
Most of my work is wheel thrown using North Carolina stoneware clay . After it is thrown on the wheel it is then altered for a desired shape, pierced, then slip trailed with a filigree style. My work is not only influenced by the natural world that surrounds me but ideas that are locked in the recesses of my mind which are unleashed as I create. I diligently strive for quality and durability in my work for everyday use.
Tara approaches her work from a place of child-like spontaneity, resulting in pots that are playful and honest. She would like nothing better than for her pots to become fixtures in your home, to facilitate your daily rituals, and perhaps share in your transcendent moments.
Julie and Tyrone Larson
Tyrone and I started our pottery in 1966 in Royal Oak, Michigan after Julie finished her Masters Degree in Ceramics at Wayne State University in Detroit. Over our fifty-year career, we have reinvented our work many times. We presently are working with cone 5 porcelain in oxidation firing. Tyrone now does most of the wheel work, while I hand paint the surfaces using my own take on a very old European technique of painting on the surface of a base glaze with a heavy application of the same glaze containing a variety of colorants.
Matt Wegleitner’s creative expression started at a young age and continued to develop in various mediums throughout his life. Matt developed a self-taught hand-building technique during the winter months of 2013. All his sculptures are assembled in his home studio near Lake James, North Carolina. To complete his work he participates in group wood firings in the Western NC area, and has participated in 20+ firings in his career. His current body of work consists of eight different series of sculpture, which all feature their own inspirations and design aesthetics; Balance, Companion, Crater, Moab, Momentum, Riptide, Support, and Tower.
I make art for people to use. As an Attorney at Law and Potter at Heart, I appreciate that each wheel thrown piece begins with the centering of both mind and clay.
My current series, From the Mountains to the Sea, is created from thrown porcelain. I add thick slip as texture on each piece, and spray each with six different glazes. In the resulting blues, greens and grays, I see the spring of our Blue Ridge Mountains and the winter of the Atlantic Ocean off North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
My Fine Art and Craft studies and teaching began over 40 years ago. I find my experience with clay informs my sense of place in the world. It fires my imagination in a way no other material can. The inspiration of my sculptural work stems from my longstanding curiosity and interest in anthropology, art, and nature. I see my work as an exploration on how universal forms, ideas, and cultural traditions evolved as integral components of rituals and have influenced civilizations over time. That exploration continues to lead me toward a deeper understanding of how daily experiences of traditional cultures and ours were, and are, interwoven with our natural environment and spiritual concepts.
My process is strictly intuitive. The work will begin with the seed of an idea based on a cultural myth, folklore or legend; or on my own observations of daily life and relationships to convey a personal narrative. Each sculpture is hand built by pinching and welding coils and slabs together and fired multiple times; depending on the surface and color I’m trying to achieve. The surfaces may be infused with a compilation of natural and manufactured textures, patterns, and symbols to enhance and convey the story or idea. Color is incorporated predominately through the application of underglazes, oxides, slips, and glazes. Other materials may be added to elaborate and exaggerate the sculptural narrative.
Pottery to me is about connections.
I own a teaching studio so that I can help people connect to one another in a positive, supportive community. I make pots in hopes that people will use them to relate to their world in a more meaningful way. When you drink from my mug, I hope it causes you to slow down…to not just gulp down your coffee on your way to work, but rather to be mindful: to fully experience the cup you are holding, and just maybe, that habit of mindfulness will seep into the rest of your experience of your day.