Being drawn to contemporary and traditional Asian clay— along with living in Western North Carolina— allows me to see how other potters are inspired by similar archetypes of functional ceramics.
I’m interested in the interplay between form and surface, and in the cycles of making, decorating and firing; it’s a difficult and rewarding lifestyle.
In 1994, after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Fine Arts, Becca, with husband Michael, settled for a time in rural Bryson City and discovered the beauty and diversity of western North Carolina. In 1997, they moved to the Asheville area, where she became a resident at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts.
North Carolina is a bastion of functional ceramics, and she has had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the best potters in the United States. She continues her relationship with Odyssey Center as a teacher, and feels that teaching is an integral part of her growth as a potter, and a person.
Mark and Huynh Mai Fitzgerald
All of our pieces are handmade, one at a time. Careful attention to every detail is given to each piece. Visual and tactile appeal are qualities we always hope to achieve, however function is a very important aspect of our pottery and we strive to make sure that each piece "works". That is: lids fit, spouts pour, and handles are comfortable and balanced. There is a unique pleasure in using pottery that is not only visually beautiful but also functions well. The everyday activities of eating, drinking and serving food and beverage become a little more special using that favorite mug, bowl or pitcher.
We truly enjoy what we do and we strive to make work that is of the highest quality. In this age of styrofoam and paper cups, commercially produced dinnerware and plastics of all kinds, we hope that people who choose to own and use our work will feel a little more connected to the process of human creativity.
Our work cycle is typically a 2 to 3 week period of producing our work. This includes everything from preparing the raw materials to forming and finishing the pieces, attaching handles and drying the ware. We then bisque fire everything and spend the next few days applying the glazes. Everything is then loaded in to our large gas fired kiln where it undergoes a 2 1/2 to 3 day period of firing and cooling down. At this point the pieces are finished and we unload and inspect each piece for quality.
Although I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, as a child I spent every possible moment in the country exploring the woods and playing in creeks. The earthy tones and minimalism of my functional and sculptural pots reflect the nature that surrounded me as a child. I gravitate towards pots that are casual, quiet and appear to have grown right out of the spot they sit. My aesthetic falls into a minimalist category, less is much more for me. I am drawn to and hope to create pots that have an organic and natural quality to them. These are the pots that pull me in. Their irregularities give these pots a personality not unlike our own physical presence. I juxtapose minimalism, simple clean line designs that are unadorned but have a strong presence with aspects that are loose, organic, and casual.
My stoneware pieces are treadle wheel thrown and then modified with hand built components. Surface treatments are applied slips and glazes, natural ash and/or soda. My work is fired in soda or wood kilns.
I grew up in Columbia, MD where I learned to create pots on the wheel at the age of thirteen. Although this was not my first experience with clay, its effect was profound. I continued to make pots in a school environment until he graduated in 1997 with a BFA from Guilford College. After graduating, I moved to Atlanta, GA and started making pots full time. I returned to Greensboro NC in the spring of 1999 and began teaching at Guilford College half time. Since then I have continued to teach, sell, exhibit and publish work.
Gruchalla Rosetti Pottery
We are a husband and wife collaborative team. Ideas are shared; each of us brings different skills into the process of creating our work. Carrin started out as a fiber artist... a tapestry weaver. She came into the pottery studio with her sense for color and surface arrangement more than 20 years ago. Richard's entire career of 47+ years has been as a studio potter, first making functional stoneware and porcelain in the Leach-Hamada tradition, and now working exclusively in raku. Our pottery is, before all else, a statement of form. We look first for the silhouette of the piece; the lift from the surface, the graceful extension from the foot to the belly into the curve of the body, the strength of the shoulder, the grace of the neck, and finally the finish of the lip. All the parts are connected, and all the parts should be cohesive. We call our style of work 'American Raku ' to distinguish it from the original, Japanese style of fast-firing and quick-cooling raku. (The Japanese did not put their raku through the smoking part of the firing. ) We do, however, try to follow the example of Donyu, the third in line of raku masters , who was noted for his innovation in the use of the raku process. We hope to continue with OUR innovation of this technique to produce work that will add to the library of contemporary American ceramics.
The physical and creative nature of working with clay satisfies my desire to play, construct, experiment, and to get dirty. Patterns in textiles, architecture, nature and quilting inspire me to create works that invite touch and evoke a sense of nostalgic comfort. Early in the construction process, clay is soft and pliable; I enjoy building pieces that reflect these properties even after the clay has become hard from firing. I often make pieces with the intention of showing them in a grouping, as though they are conversing with each other.
Growing up in southern Ohio, I spent my early years watching my mother and grandmothers sew. Upon moving to Charlotte after graduating college, I did not have a clay studio in which to create, so I began to sew myself. Experiences with sewing breathed life into my clay work: patterns, textures and seams from fabrics and textiles inform design and formal decisions.
The isolation of working alone in my studio has heightened my awareness of the importance of people and true community in my life. I experience this community through sharing food, celebrations, worship, teaching, athletic competition, group traveling, and music, as well as interactions with the city itself. My desire for a sense of place and history while living within an urban environment is reflected in my work.