It is very fulfilling to create something unique and offer it to the world.
My passion for pottery was born when I was in college with my first step into a pottery studio. The endless possibilities to create from the soul and the freedom to express oneself through shape and color and through skill and ability was what captivated my heart and has not let go for all these years. Stepping into the studio was like leaving fears, inhibitions, and preconceptions at the door and opened up a whole world of creation, expression, and connection that was nonjudgemental, accepting, loving, and welcoming. A place for me to grow and to become who I was intended to be.
My job now as an artist is to take a simple ball of clay, round and squishy, muddy and messy….and craft it into a beautiful creation of art that is useful and adds depth and beauty to someone’s daily life. I create to not only add fulfillment to my life (which it deeply does), but also to the lives of others with the products I offer.
I throw all my pieces by hand using my potter’s wheel. For each order, I weigh out the correct amount of clay and throw them on my potter’s wheel, one at a time, transforming them from a lump of dirt into a mug, bowl, vase, etc. After the pieces have dried enough to be held and handled without losing their shape, I put them back on the wheel and trim the base, carve texture, add dots or stamps, and add handles. They are then allowed to dry for several days (usually a week). When I have enough pieces to fill my kiln, they are bisque fired, glazed, and then put back into the kiln for a second firing. The kiln is fired to such a hot temperature (2200 degrees F) that the glaze melts and flows and turns to the beautiful shiny and magical colors intended. After a 16 hour cooling period, I carefully unload the kiln and sand the bottoms of all my pieces smooth with a fine grit sandpaper so there are no rough spots; I don’t want my pottery scratching anyone’s table and I want it to feel smooth to the touch so you will enjoy holding it.
The name of my Etsy shop, RiverStone Pottery, began in December of 2010 when my son started kindergarten. I had the opportunity at that time to return to my love of pottery and have a go at making it a full-time career. I began like most everyone else, with ho-hum photos and an average product, but over the past several years RiverStone Pottery has grown and developed into something that I am very proud of and feel very confident offering to the world. I now have professional looking photos and well-developed beautiful pieces to offer and feel very confident in my work and skill level!
The RiverStone name has reference to my childhood. I would walk along the riverbank, pick up river stones and put them in my pocket. I loved carrying those stones around with me and admiring them for their natural beauty. It made me feel connected to creation and to the earth just as I do when I have my hands in clay, making pottery.
Professionally trained as an artist, I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramic Art from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Some of my fondest memories were created during my senior year when I was able to attend Penland School of Craft located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. There I attended two 2-week workshops and studied under the professional teachings of Arthur Gonzalez and Michael Sherrill. This experience proved to be a wonderful time of growth for me as an artist and fueled my desire to become a professional ceramic artist.
Inspired by the colors and shapes of the natural world, I often relate the glaze colors on my pieces to the organic inspirations around me: trees, mountains, flowers, leaves, sky, fruits, vegetables, beaches, and rivers. There is such an abundance of inspiration all around. We are all so much more intimately connected to these places and things of nature than any of us ever realize.