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Clay Musings

Clay Musings - The Bright Angle

I grew up in Minnesota. I threw my first pot when I was 13, started taking classes at the Northern Clay Center at 15, went to the first St. Croix pottery tour when I was 16. That was when I first saw great contemporary pots. My initial involvement in the arts was more about being engaged in the ceramic community. I spent most of my time in highschool in ceramics class where my teacher , Lisa Himmelstrup, was a huge influence.  She was generous and encouraging. I felt like the ceramics studio was a place where I could be myself.  I was interested in ceramics because there was no right answer, you could find your solution just by touching and working.

I graduated from Alfred in May 2012. I left school bright-eyed and bushy-tailed thinking I could make a full time career as a potter and tried to enter the field in as many ways as possible, some more successful than others. I assisted potters in their studios and at Penland School of Crafts. I travelled to 48 states in my Prius selling pottery at street art fairs, large indoor craft shows, and wholesale gift shows.  I organized events at restaurants pairing food and table.  I organized shows at galleries to put pots in use.  It wasn’t until 2015 when I did American Craft Council Baltimore and NYnow as well as 6 other indie craft markets and have pots in consignment galleries when I was actually able to make pots full time.  Full time meant every day, most days from the time I got up until late into the night.  But I loved it.

From 2012-2016 I worked through many processes and landed on slipcasting as a way to execute designs that were more flexible- not round, and out of porcelain. This process allowed me to step into the design field.  The whole time I came across so many potters that were constantly designing.  The studio potters I admire the most were moving through designs and bodies of work so quickly.  I wondered what would happen if there was a studio that could capture one of those designs and put it into a production setting.  The idea of learning how to translate great potters’ designs and introducing them to the design marketplace was an idea I couldn’t shake.  This was the backbone of The Bright Angle Handmade Design Studio.