Lauren Bausch O'Quinn is a native of Columbus, GA. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Studio Art from Columbus State University in 2009 with an emphasis in ceramics.
Lauren's discovery of clay came later in her college career. She confidently identified herself as a painter, often working with mixed media assemblage abstractions filled with textures, vivid colors, and oozing varnished surfaces. It took a while to identify herself as a potter. Ever since she drank coffee from the first successful (back then I thought it was brilliant) cup that made it out of the kiln alive, she was hooked. her functional pots reflect a sturdy, utilitarian quality paired with a vivid color palette to create moments of joy in daily use.
Sculptural forms satisfy her obsession with texture and repetition, much like the stippling of a paintbrush across a canvas. Lauren responds to her childhood fantasies of imaginary, nature-scapes by creating forms adorned with an abundance of textures to create a tactile experience for the viewer. Later, she glazes each piece carefully layering with stains and washes. The result is often a celebratory overuse of color!
The most recent part of Lauren's ceramics journey is jewelry making using handmade clay components. Her focus and style is constantly evolving as she is learning new techniques, creating stamps, finding textures around the house for beads, and infusing the use of color in new and exciting ways.
Derek Belflower a.k.a. Possum, enjoys continuing the tradition of making hand-crafted face-jugs. He has always had an avid interest in art. Because of this interest, PoSSum Pottery evolved. As an art marketing major, and a successful graphic artist for over 20 years, he has actively pursed many different forms of art production including cartooning, illustrating, corporate logos and design work. After taking a pottery class for the first time since his college days, Derek began to explore a desire to make face jugs. Of course, the history of face jugs was captivating and inspiring, and it was with face jugs that he could fully employ his artistic ability in a way that gave him much satisfaction. It was at this point that Derek’s love for pottery re-emerged, and he knew that he would want to make this one of his main artistic focuses from now on.
Derek's ideas run rampant, and he’s always ready to get them off his mind and into clay. His work is heavily influenced by his love for the outdoors and his cartooning experience, and his focus is aligned with the Georgia Pottery Folk Art tradition. All of Derek's work is wheel-thrown and hand-built. It's been said that beyond the craft tradition, his jugs reflect a true artisan's approach.
In the past, he's participated in several festivals in Dahlonega, and he frequents the Georgia Jug Fest in Knoxville (Crawford County) and the Apple Festival in Elijay each year. He's been featured in the Georgia magazine, and his work can be seen on the PoSSum Pottery site on Facebook.
Ginger Birdsey has been making art it seems all her life. From sitting on the floor in her daddy’s studio, in teaching kids of all ages, to quiet contemplation in her own studio at home, art is an integral part of who she is. With intuition and inspiration from her memories and stories from childhood, she plays with different media to produce her art.
Dolls, figures, birds, and animals gleaned from the natural environment and ordinary objects are integrated in these recent compositions (works). Whether surrounded by a box, resting in a cradle, swinging on a wire, poised within a doorway or standing alone, these images evoke childhood innocence and safety. She is often aware that we don’t hear each other in this confusing and media driven swirl of a world. The dolls or birds are free to tell the secrets and to give the answers to the spiritual and domestic mysteries and pleasures of daily life, and to make us laugh and touch us on emotional levels.
Storytelling was a central part of Ginger's childhood. On any given day, her father regaled the family with stories of his growing up in the 1920s and 1930s, creating toys, inventing games, and getting into mischief of one kind or another. Conversation around the table was boisterous; hilarity and laughter ruled. She continues this story telling in both functional and sculptural forms, whereby layers of objects and textures, rich in history, all contribute to the reinterpretation of memories.
Meredith Elaine Bradley is a young content/social media marketer and ceramics designer living in Atlanta, Ga. She earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from Georgia State University. Her focus is on small batch ceramics, that exhibit her skills in design layout and hand lettering. She is an object enthusiast, and her work is playful, feminist and chic. Meredith spends her time between both a ceramics residency at MudFire Studios in Decatur, Georgia and at Pindrop in Atlanta, Georgia as a marketing coordinator. In her spare time, she's a coffee enthusiast, a dedicated sloth aficionado and a fledgling, bad-ass boss babe developing her multi-dimensional design and branding empire.
Jim Bridgeman is a ceramic artist living in Fayetteville, GA. His introduction to clay followed his retirement from a career as an air traffic controller. In recent years, his primary method of working shifted to handbuilding, allowing him to tap into an interest in form and design that had been on the back burner for several decades. You see, Jim began his college education by completing three and a half years of a five-year architecture program at Virginia Tech before changing his major.
Lori Buff fell in love with pottery when she was a junior in high school. This love of creating clay forms led her to decide that she was going to be a potter when she grew up. She was accepted at The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University based on her portfolio work.
After leaving school, Lori traveled around the country in a 1971 Pinto with extended stays in New York, Virginia, Wisconsin and Birmingham. She eventually settled in Atlanta, GA where she tried for 27 years to live the life expected of her, working corporate jobs and such.
Lori has finally returned to the wheel and to the career that has been calling to her to get “back down to Earth.” She now throws at her studio in East Atlanta Village. Her award-winning works have been shown in juried shows in the New York and Atlanta Metro areas including the Inman Park Festival and the Telephone Factory Lofts Art Show.
Meg Hogan Campbell has been a potter for nearly 40 years, working in the Middle Georgia and Macon area. Primarily a hand builder, her pieces consist of mostly functional ware and garden sculpture. She employs the use of heavy texture with rich glazes on her own dark clay body. Her “rattle cups” are widely sought after.
In her words, “I don’t know why I do this. Anything I come up with sounds trite or pretentious. Mostly it’s fun. And then I can’t stop.”
Jackie Chapman received her specialist degree in special education from West Georgia College and retired in 2005 after 29 years with Douglas County Schools. She has been married to Robert Chapman for 43 years and they have one daughter, Rebecca, who is married to their favorite son-in-law, Mitch and one granddaughter that loves to help Jackie with her pottery!
She began exhibiting her art at shows in 1980. Since then, she has worked with many different types of crafts and media including tole painting, soft sculpture, sewing, and woodworking. She has always had a love of pottery. After taking classes from a dear friend, Jackie purchased a kiln and some clay in 2000 and started on a journey that would be more fulfilling than any other media that she has ever explored.
Each piece has its beginnings in a 25 lb. bag of stoneware clay and is hand built or hand thrown and then decorated with flowers, leaves, birds, frogs, turtles and glazes. Her inspiration comes from nature, whimsy and just about anything that she come into contact with. Her subconscious is always looking for a way to translate the things she sees into pottery.
Jackie's pottery is a little different in that she brings a crafter’s background to her work that makes it difficult for her to make a plain piece of pottery. It has to have something attached to it! She enjoys making pieces that are unusual in some way or bring a smile to your face.
Whether you’re browsing or would like to purchase a little something for yourself or a friend, she hopes you receive as much pleasure from her work as she had in its making.
Kaitlyn Chipps is an emerging ceramic artist who studied fine arts at Seminole State College of Florida. Through elements of fantasy and grace, she aims to elevate the functional objects she makes and therefore her user’s experience of her work. She delves deep into the world of fantasy, drawing from both elvish culture and the organic world. Kaitlyn currently works as a studio assistant and artist in residence at MudFire Clayworks in Atlanta, GA and strives to continue her education and growth in ceramics.
Yen-Ting Chiu grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. She has been living in the United States for three years to pursue her career as a ceramic artist. She received her Masters of Fine Art in Ceramics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and is currently the Resident Ceramics Artist at Blazing Paddles Studio in Macon, Georgia.
Yen-Ting has worked in ceramics for nearly ten years. Her working experiencee has been diverse. While an undergraduate in Taiwan, most of her work was functional high-fire. After graduating with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree, she had the chance to work in a ceramic studio that produced large-scale public ceramic sculptures; it was this experience that influenced her move towards sculptural work. While she was in grad school, she concentrated on creating low-fire hand-built sculptures of cats.
Sheila Chrzan recently retired as an attorney to devote herself full time to the making of functional stoneware pottery. She has been involved with pottery part-time for over 15 years. She has worked at Art Center West in Roswell, GA and has attended numerous workshops throughout Georgia, and at Arrowmont. She has participated in numerous juried craft shows in Roswell, GA, Watkinsville, GA, Atlanta and Eatonton, GA. Her pottery can be found at the Raiford Gallery in Roswell, GA. She is a member of OCAF in Watkinsville, GA and is on the planning team for Perspectives, Georgia Pottery Invitational Show and Sale. Her pottery is cone 6 oxidation fired and is food safe.
Martha Cook has had a passion for working with clay for most of her life. She was born in Rossville, Georgia and currently lives in Atlanta where she works as a Resident Assistant to the Pottery Director and as an Instructor at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.
Martha enjoys making functional work using both the potter’s wheel and handbuilding techniques. She strives to keep the inherent nature of clay apparent as she explores form and texture. Her work is enhanced by the spontaneity of atmospheric kilns. She especially enjoys firing her work in a high fire reduction kiln and a soda kiln.
Martha earned an BA in Art Education with a concentration in Ceramics from University of West Georgia (West Georgia College) and an MA in Ceramics from the University of Louisville, where she was awarded a full scholarship and graduate assistantship. She also earned an Ed.S. in Leadership and Administration from Lincoln Memorial University.
Martha worked as an educator, teaching art – including ceramics and sculpture – for more than 30 years. She has taught pottery at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Hudgens Center for the Arts, Chastain Art Center, and the University of Louisville.
Laura B. Cooper is a potter who lives and works in Athens, Georgia. She has studied painting at The Savannah College of Art and Design and earned her BFA in ceramics at the University of Georgia in 2010. She has also lived and worked in Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, and spent several years as an ornamental iron worker and steel fabricator before setting up her clay studio in Athens. In 2012 she became one of the founding members of a cooperative of ceramic artists called Long Road Studios, who organized sales in the Athens area for local artists to participate in. Long Road Studios later opened a brick and mortar gallery space and clay studio of the same name in Bishop, Georgia. While she began her education with studies in painting, sculpture and metal working, she currently focuses on hand building functional and sculptural ceramics using mid fire red stoneware. This current body of work focuses on simple, linear forms that are accentuated with contrasting colored slips and textured patterns.
Boyce Covert is guilty of accumulating a massive number of things including vintage textiles, kitchenware, seed pods, and seashells. “Artists are prone to examine and collect natural and man-made objects,” Boyce says. She loves the repetitive patterning seen in textiles and the lines, forms, textures, and shapes discovered in nature. These objects are visual research and play a large role in the creative process.
Boyce carves symbols to create clay stamps which represent in some fashion the objects that she has accumulated. Many symbols, like the spiral, circle, cross, and X, are universally known. Some of the symbols carved onto the clay surface duplicate a texture or pattern found on a vintage textile. Using paper templates, hand carved stamps, and slab construction, she combines the natural with the man-made to fabricate functional clay vessels. Boyce enjoys the creative process from flat sheets of clay to boxlike cups, bowls, and trays. Boyce lives in Carrollton, Georgia.
Cameron Covert started working with clay 50 years ago. It’s been an incredible journey; one shared with many close friends.
Ten years ago, Cameron retired from teaching ceramics at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton after a 36 year career. In retirement, he enjoys travelling and working with clay in his home studio, plus exhibiting his ceramic work in shows like Fired Works and other invitational exhibits.
Judy Cutchins has always loved the outdoors and spent hours exploring fields, lakes, riverbanks, beaches and woods. So it was only “natural” that she chose a career in science education. Studying painting, drawing and photography enabled her to incorporate art into her work. Judy has written a dozen natural science books, and painted a variety of wildlife murals on museum and science classroom walls.
“When you follow your bliss, worlds of ideas and knowledge that you never knew existed open up to you.” Joseph Campbell
In the 1990s after acquiring a small kiln and discovering the versatile medium of clay, Judy began making tiles with botanical and nature images for bathrooms and kitchens. In 2005 she joined Mudfire Clayworks and learned to throw on the wheel. Throwing opened a world of new dimensions and creative opportunities.
All of Judy’s work is functional, usable stoneware. She says, “I enjoy storing teabags, cookies and coffee in art, eating soup out of art, serving snacks in art, making pies in art, displaying flowers in art, and I hope others will too.” Since joining Mudfire, Judy has taken workshops and learned tips and techniques from renowned clay artists such as Kathy Triplett, Paul Lewing, Rick Berman, Richard Notkin, Lisa Clague, Luba Sharapan, Erik Haagensen and amazing sgraffito artist Kathy King.
Judy found her clay art “bliss” in the ancient technique of sgraffito, a means of surface decoration done on leather hard clay by carving or scratching designs and illustrations through a colored layer of slip or underglaze to reveal the clay color underneath. Sgraffito is often done with black over white clay but may be done using colors over darker clay. This technique allows Judy to incorporate her love for illustrating and for nature into the medium of clay.
Alicia Bailey David first discovered her love of clay in elementary school, but she only began working with ceramics again in March 2016 (with local artist Amy Hellis as her teacher). In her opinion, the best thing about ceramics is the diverse nature of the medium. This diversity has allowed Alicia to experiment with different surface design techniques (sgraffito, mishima, carving, and stamping), to explore various sculptural forms, to make glass/ceramic jewelry, and to start wading into the deep waters of glaze interactions. Alicia’s ceramic work is varied but overall quite detailed and includes pieces that are functional, sculptural, and occasionally whimsical.
Alicia is a Georgia native who has lived in the Macon area since childhood. She received a BA in Art from Mercer University, an MA in Medical Illustration from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and a PhD in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University.
She has taught college-level digital visual arts for the last 19 years. Her personal artistic pursuits include a variety of different media: mosaic, printmaking, warm glass, textile art, metal forging, and most recently ceramics.
Karen Fincannon has always been an artist. Her first customers were students on the school bus who paid her for paper dolls. Over the years, she worked in a variety of mediums, and now primarily works in clay and acrylic paint. Eventually, she earned degrees in Photography and Art History from the State University of New York in Potsdam, but after a tile making workshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she never went back to the darkroom.
After a couple of years making relief tiles, Karen took a workshop with Lana Wilson at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, which changed her entire way of working with clay.
Karen's pieces are all one of a kind, hand-built ceramic. She incorporates both text and texture in her work. She has a large collection of rubber stamps, texture mats and texture stamps, some of which she made herself, and uses these to stamp her pieces. She likes experimenting with her own glazes and different commercial glazes and underglazes to achieve bright, happy colors.
Karen's work is primarily whimsical. She likes to make art that makes people smile. She says she has a great job, because she spends her days making art and weekends sharing it with others.
Tom Fink is a full-time potter living and working in Decatur, Georgia. He produces his pottery at MudFire, a local community studio with over 80 members.
Tom works with white stoneware that is fired to cone 6 in both gas and electrical kilns. Much of his pottery features images from his childhood, including cats, robots, and other whimsical figures. The images are silkscreened on greenware, fired once, then glazed with a translucent glaze and fired again. His functional pottery is all food and dishwasher safe.
In addition to Fired Works, Tom also participates in festivals in the Atlanta and Athens area under the name Thom O’Fink Pottery.
Wade Franklin grew up in the small community of Midville, GA. After high school graduation, he joined the Navy and moved to San Diego in 1969. During this time, he became interested in pottery and studied under Franklin Jew.
He received his B.S. in Art Education and started teaching art at Waynesboro Elementary in Waynesboro, GA, in 1984. He received his Masters in Art Education in 1992 from Georgia Southern University. Teaching kids basic drawing and 3D with clay inspired Wade to begin drawing and sculpting animals on his pottery. All functional work is microwave and dishwasher safe, oven-proof. Work is fired to almost 2200°F and is lead free.
Marise Fransolino was born in Brazil and have been living in the United States since 1983. Her life as a ceramist began in 1999, after finishing her first pottery class. She was instantly intrigued by the medium and became fascinated with the process of throwing, glazing, and firing. She was happily surprised to see how well her Industrial Design background fit with the ceramic arts.
At the same time, she found that she loved teaching the medium, and started her ceramic instructor career teaching classes and workshops at various community arts centers in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Her passion and dedication to ceramics has taken her on a tireless search for more challenging techniques. Since she set up her studio, she has been working full time, developing unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.
Marise’s work is to be used and enjoyed, with her hopes it will bring beauty into people’s lives. As an instructor, she hopes to inspire others to love ceramics as much as she does.
Forrest and Jeni Gard met as ceramic students at the University of Florida. In 2015, they started Gard Clay Studios in their basement, where they make a line of functional, well-crafted ceramics, and have a small artist residency program. In 2014, they helped found the Socially Engaged Craft Collective, a craft and social practice organization. Jeni is a potter and community-based artist currently living and working at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. Forrest is a ceramic artist and the associate Editor of Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated magazines splitting his time between Columbus, Ohio and Macon, Georgia.
Camren Gober has been fascinated with clay for as long as he can remember. The pottery project in grade school was always the highlight of his year. In high school, he was not only a prolific potter, but also the kiln loader, repairman, and often, in charge of ordering glazes. After graduating from the University of Georgia, he established his own studio so he could have control over his glazes, firing, and creative process. Over the years, Camren has continued to take classes, assist in the studio, and teach at a local pottery studio.
Camren works mostly on the potter’s wheel, but often finds himself using whatever method best suits the project he is working on. He fires Cone 10 in several kilns, including his own gas reduction and electric-oxidation kilns. His work is predominantly functional and is dishwasher and microwave safe.
Alexis Gregg is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. She and her husband, Tanner Coleman, own AnT Sculpture and Design LLC specializing in large scale public art and architectural ceramics. Together they have created and installed permanent public artworks in seven countries. When Alexis isn’t teaching, carving brick, or running after a toddler she enjoys making objects to live with. Her recent body of work includes pots, sculptures, and jewelry inspired by her travels and research of pattern and craft.
Barry Gregg, the 2017 Fired Works featured potter, is a clay artist living in Decatur, Georgia. He has shown at Signature Contemporary Craft Gallery, Mudfire Gallery, The Swan Coach House Gallery, Clay West, The Atlanta College of Art, Hambidge Art Center and The Bascom. He has also exhibited nationally at The American Craft Council Shows in Baltimore and Atlanta.
His work can currently be seen at the Signature Contemporary Craft Gallery in Atlanta, The Bascom in Highlands, NC, Crimson Laurel Gallery in Bakersfield, NC, Gallery Morada in Islamorada, FL and Freehand Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.
Barry has been featured in Ceramics Guild Magazine, Decatur Living Magazine, The Atlanta/Journal Constitution, Lark Books Handbuilding Techniques, 500 Pitchers and 500 Tiles. His work was featured on the cover and in the 2009 May/June issue of Clay Times Magazine.
Education: RN- St. Joseph’s Infirmary Atlanta, GA
BFA in Ceramics Wesleyan College Macon, GA
I started out working out of my basement then had the opportunity to become a partner in Napier Ave Clay Studio with Becky Posnak, Meg Campbell and Jane Salter.
This partnership lasted approximately ten years. In 2003, Macon Mud was started with Kathy Murphy, Amy Hellis and Meg Campbell on Green Street in Payne City, GA. Macon Macon Mud is now located on Comer Terrace in Payne City with Kathy Murphy and Brenda Butler. I am I am once again working out of my basement using an electric kiln. Twice a year I do an Anagama firing with Roger Jamison. I build every piece by hand hence they are one of a kind. Some are functional and some are simply sculptural forms.
I draw inspiration from everyday life and am greatly influenced by the textures surrounding us. I view most objects as textures. Most forms are organic in shape and delicately textured. I am always searching for found objects to incorporate in my work.
Helen Helwig Active in art pottery since 1975, Helen Helwig studied at Ohio State University and was an assistant at the Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts. She has been an artist-in-residence numerous times, an art teacher and leads workshops in clay and mosaic techniques. Helwig has participated in juried art fairs for more than 30 years and enjoys the opportunity to share her art work with the public.
More recently, Helen Helwig has created mixed media mosaics and sculptures that combine metal and sculpted clay. She is currently working on several large-scale commissions and has completed public art installations for hospitals, libraries, educational institutions, highway underpasses, art centers, a senior center, a bus shelter and corporate offices.
Helen Helwig’s functional art is created using wheel thrown, hand built and extrusion techniques. These pieces often include incised and relief sculptures of birds, dragonflies, animals, and plants. The sculpted, textured and incised areas are stained and then glazed in a manner that enhances the details and surface of the images. Helwig formulates many of her own glazes to achieve unusual effects and colors.
The artist’s decorative clay sculptures and mixed media mosaics typically depict flora and fauna themes. The mosaics include handmade clay pieces, broken tiles, rocks and glass beads. The sculptures and mosaics are adhered to backer board, walls, table tops, concrete bird baths and steel armatures.
Helen Helwig is inspired by flora and fauna, the geology and the geographic features of the region and the seasons. The stylized and symbolic images she uses as well as the themes are often derived from cultural, historical and environmental references.
Walter Hobbs states, "When one combines the educational training of an art instructor and the professional development of a ceramics career-oriented person, you are presented with a potter that is always evolving and researching new ways to express himself." Whether it be forms, glazes, firing processes, textures or uses, Walter has always pushed himself to take what he is doing today and use it as a basis of what it may become tomorrow. Walter feels this approach allows his work to continue to be challenging and thus rewarding.
Charity Hofert pottery is, above all, an exploration and celebration of color and texture. She is entranced by the way a line moves across a surface and can divide a piece into dynamic sections, or how the application or removal of a bit of clay or paint from one area can create a dramatic focal point. She is enchanted by combinations of color that can cause one another to vibrate. Charity loves the tactile nature of clay and the ability to affect changes on its surface with different tools and methods; scraping and scratching onto it, carving away areas, smoothing and burnishing others.
She loves to paint and enjoys creating clay pieces that are canvases for colorful imagery and decoration. Much of her inspiration comes from nature and her work often features images that seem botanical or biological in nature. Charity has also been greatly influenced by her travels and the colors and patterns that she has seen in the arts and handicrafts of people and places that she has visited. Her goal is to create work that is both functional and beautiful and that brings joy and delight to its user.
Nancy Hostetter touches everything. There is a compulsion and irresistible curiosity of what something feels like. She has been touching things her whole life….her father referred to it as “picking.” Despite parental coaching, to a fault, Nancyremainsa toucher.
She discovered clay in a high school art room in Brunswick Georgia and spent many happy hours as an “art room bum” primarily hand building with clay. During a period of unemployment in New York City, Nancy was introduced to the pottery wheel in a small Chelsea studio. She continued at Callanwolde Arts Center in Atlanta with Rick Berman. Several years later, she participated in the Assistantship Program at Callanwolde with Glenn Dair. Following her assistantship, she and other clay artists established a shared studio space in Little Five Points, Atlanta and sold pots at several area shops. Family and a fulfilling career as a pediatric Occupational Therapist put clay work on hold for many years. She kept her hands busy in other materials, but found her way back to clay at Mudfire years ago. Two years ago, she became one of eight cornerstone members of Mudfire when the business changed hands.
Mudfire is a well-equipped studio, occupied with inspiring fellow artists, many workshops, (and technical expertise from D and D). She appreciates the plasticity of clay and her work is a celebration of the material. These are clay pots. A functional pot needs to feel right and should invite touch. A bowl should be held and a mug should be “tried on.”
Roger Jamison grew up on the plains of Kansas. Sky, prairie, a few trees, and fewer hills are what make up that environment. Growing up there attuned Roger to pay attention to landscape and geology: the forms, texture, and colors. Roger attended the University of Kansas and Bethany College where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art in 1970 followed by an MFA in Ceramics at Indiana University. He then moved to Macon, Georgia to teach ceramics, drawing, and design at Mercer University. He married, taught, made pots, and built a life there. In 2009, Roger retired to work full-time in his studio.
Roger was fortunate to be able to travel for work and study. First, in 1978 as a resident artist with the University of Georgia’s Studies Abroad in Cortona, Italy; later at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts in 1986; and in 2004 with the UGA Studies Abroad program in Shigaraki, Japan, where he learned more about traditional wood firing techniques.
Roger’s interest in firing with wood began in the 1970’s when he made burnished forms which were fired in a bonfire. In 1984, he built a high-fire wood-fired kiln at Mercer which he enjoyed firing every term with his students. In 1986, he was invited to help Frank Boyden and Tom Coleman fire the East Creek Anagama in Oregon, a life changing experience which led ultimately to building his own.
In 1990, Roger and his wife, Sherrie, moved to a new home near Juliette, GA where he built a studio and began firing salt-glazed ware in a small wood-burning kiln. He has operated Jamison Pottery, a wood-fire pottery since then. In 2000, Roger built a 24 ft. long Japanese style anagama kiln which is fired for up to 5 days with wood alone in order to achieve unique natural ash glazing effects. The anagama holds 500-700 pieces and is usually fired twice a year by a community of potters and friends.
Tammy Josephson works as a full-time ceramic artist and teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. She considers herself a late bloomer, having discovered her life’s work and purpose in her 40s. While working on a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1995, Tammy opted to take a ceramics class and fell in love with the tactile and malleable substance – clay. Thus began her career as a potter and teacher.
Tammy’s early work was inspired by Mediterranean pottery, such as majolica. She used terra cotta clay and tin-based glaze to create a canvas for brightly painted designs. Tammy admired the work of majolica ceramists, Linda Arbuckle and Stan Anderson, and participated in a class with Linda Arbuckle at Arrowmont School of Crafts.
A move to North Carolina in 1996 allowed Tammy to attend Montgomery Community College in the heart of Seagrove, NC, where generations of potters have lived and worked. This experience gave Tammy a deep appreciation of functional pottery and its history in the South. In time, her direction changed to functional stoneware, using reduction and oxidation firing techniques. Tammy is attracted to the simplicity of Japanese pottery, but also loves the intricacies of thrown and altered works.
Tammy’s current work is taking her back to more playful forms and use of color, reminiscent of her Majolica days. Rather than using the more porous and less durable terracotta that is typically used in Majolica, Tammy is using porcelain and adding slips, underglazes and washes to create interesting and colorful surfaces. Her designs are also more contemporary in nature, mimicking modern textiles. This produces a nice blending of the traditional and the modern. The art of pottery making is an unending journey, and Tammy eagerly anticipates where it will take her next.
Michael Klapthor has been working in the ceramics community in Georgia for over 10 years. Through his experience at a variety of clay art studios, he has worked as an artist, instructor, studio assistant, and manager. Community studios have been an extremely beneficial part of Michael's art experience, affording him the chance to refine his talents with students and instructors of all skill levels and techniques. He is currently a resident artist at Mudfire Clay Studios in Decatur, GA, and teaches sculpture classes at both Callanwolde Fine Art Center and Chastain Art Center.
Michael’s sculptures have a strong focus in figurative work, specifically using physicality to convey thoughts and emotions. This has been a strong trend in much of his clay work throughout his artistic career. Innovative designs throughout his new work combine the classic pottery traditions, finding new ways to bring clay forms to life. In his current series, he uses altered forms from the wheel as the sole building material to construct sculptures that have a 1950's science fiction aesthetic. The rounded, even forms created on a potter's wheel lend themselves easily to recreating this look, and the metal-rich clay and stains add rusty, worn character to each piece. The result is a studio full of robots and ray-guns that convey fun and nostalgia, but also inspire new ways to employ traditional mediums.
Emily Knapp earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kennesaw State University. The inspiration for all her art comes from her love of all things natural – animals, nature and her farm. While she is interested in all artistic media she is known for her ceramics and jewelry, her primary interest is in ceramics, a sensuous form that marries earth and fire and emphasizes her strong design and attention to detail. She continues to work with natural materials and started adding natural media to her work.
Emily’s style is still evolving, but it gives voice to the clay and conceptualizes her deep appreciation for the homespun past and abstract future. Emily is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two daughters Kyla (5) and Nova (2). Emily is new to Fired Works 2015.
Christina grew up in Rhode Island, surrounded by her parent’s gardens, the beauty of the New England oceans, which developed her love for the environment and the preservation of the natural world. After graduating from UGA in 2013 with a BFA in Fabric Design, Christina moved back to Rhode Island and found an internship at Mudstone Studios, a local pottery studio. She was able to learn on her own and from other potters about mixing glazes and surface decoration techniques, allowing her to expand her pottery work. In 2014 she moved to Boston to start her small business. She started working out of The Potter’s Shop in Needham, MA, where she learned to fire kilns and started working with coloring clay on a minor scale. Her work has evolved over time, as she gained more experience and therefore the ability to try new techniques. Christina Kosinski currently works at Mudfire, creating ceramic work for her small business, teaching classes, and asking a lot of questions about pottery and the world to Daphne and Deanna, Mudfire’s knowledgeable and welcoming studio owners
Alex and Lisa LaPella are potters and partners, in life and in the studio. They collaborate on nearly everything that comes through the studio, passing work back and forth throughout the process. This collaboration, which grew naturally through their marriage, allows the pots to take on lives of their own, as they give up ownership of them. One of them conceives of a pot, the other might birth it, and as the process unfolds with the pot passing between them, the pot becomes more than the original idea.
All of this happens while life unfolds around the LaPella's. Their two boys wander in and out of the studio while the chickens peer in the windows. The Appalachian Mountains do their best to distract them at their back door. They rush to and from schools, visit galleries, photograph work, ship pottery, and try to keep making pots that bring them joy. This life gets hectic, but they do what they love with the people they love. The LaPella's can't imagine that they could be any more blessed.
Austin Lindsey makes functional pottery, because of the spiritual implications that he discovers through the making process and its daily use. He decorates every form using traditional techniques such as carving, sgraffito, and wax resist, because they involve the hand directly, influencing the handmade quality of the work. His work is informed by the memory of antique pottery he saw in his ancestor’s homes, but influenced by an eastern aesthetic.
For John Lowes, it all started one day while sitting in traffic. On the way to and from work and the little trips out for this or that, he had passed by the local arts center for many years and had assumed it was a daytime operation. On this particular day he noticed that there was a Show and Sale on Saturday and Sunday. John went home and told his wife that they should go. They went on Saturday and saw a lot of art work, some good, some obviously beginner work. The BIG surprise was that the Arts Center had evening classes in wheel pottery. John took home a schedule of classes to study and the next week he signed up for the next Beginner Wheel Pottery class. The sale was in November and he started his first class the following January. That was in 2004.
Over the years, he has added hand building and extruded work to the wheel thrown forms. John is always amazed at the versatility of clay. It can be manipulated into useful objects for everyday life or into a representation of almost anything one can imagine. It even can be made into objects to protect astronauts coming back to earth from space. This versatility and the universe of objects that can be created using clay and the imagination is what keeps him interested.
Most of his pottery is thrown on the potter's wheel or starts as an extruded form. Some pieces stay close to the original form, while others are altered with changes in texture, shape, or with additions to change the look and feel of the pieces. Many are made into representations of figures or creatures that come to him in the manipulation of the clay. Other pieces are more like paintings; made from flat slabs of clay that are carved, textured and painted in vignettes of things he likes in our world. All are intended to evoke an emotional response, be it a laugh or chuckle, or some other, deeper, feeling. He sincerely hopes his work brings you joy, as that was what it has brought himself in the making.
While Janet McGregor Dunn has been dabbling with art since she could first hold a crayon, her first forays into the art-sales world began with a paintbrush in hand. However, once she was introduced to clay at a friend’s studio, she knew she’d found her true niche.
She began her clay journey using a kick wheel then moved to the electric wheel. Somehow, sitting still at a wheel didn’t quite fit her always-on-the-move personality. Once she moved into hand building she never looked back. She often quips that her wheel is similar to that rarely used piece of exercise equipment many use to hang clothing on -- she frequently uses her wheel to hold boxes.
McGregor Dunn combines her love of nature, music and color in each piece of pottery. If you took a peek through the window of her studio you might find her dancing to a tune as she worked on her latest piece of ceramic art. Most of her pieces are hand-formed and all are one-of-a-kind, never to be repeated. She brings the outdoors into some of her work, using straw, rocks, plants or other found objects from the woods surrounding her studio.
All of her clay art, whether functional or decorative, has multiple glazes atop and many have added glass. Many pieces are glaze fired two to five or more times to give them depth and to build the layers of glaze and glass. From start to finish one of her works of art might take months.
She has received numerous awards through the years. In 2013 she participated in the first annual “Art Studio Tour” in Fayette County. The tour has continued to grow and was renamed the Southern Hands Artist Studio Tour (SHAST). In 2017 Janet began heading up the tour and expanded it to include artists in Coweta County.
Nancy Mehrpad first started working with clay in high school, attending a class at the local Y. She later took additional classes while in college, and minored in Art at Georgia State University. However, she left art behind for several years. But when she rediscovered clay at a local recreation center, she was hooked and has not looked back since.
Nancy’s passion for clay quickly re-emerged, and she went from taking classes to teaching them in no time. She has been teaching at Tucker Recreation Center since January of 2002, first as a DeKalb County Parks and Recreation employee and later as an independent teacher. After visiting the Fired Works show in 2015, she wanted to be a part of it and 2017 marks her second appearance at the show. She is still teaching and is also a member of Mudfire.
Mark and Coni Merritt As a sixth generation Georgia potter, Mark Merritt throws traditional Crawford County pottery as well as utilitarian and contemporary pieces. His wife, Coni, does most of the glazing. She uses many types of glaze, and recently started decorating the face jugs and other pieces that Mark throws. She also coordinates their annual pottery show each November in Crawford County.
The Merritts also mine and process the famous local clay with their Lizella Clay Company. The Lizella Clay Company was founded by Mark’s father. The Merritts, as a pottery family, have been making their contribution to southern pottery for years, and you can find mention of them in “Brothers in Clay,” by John Burrison. They currently reside in Macon, Georgia.
David Morgan, “I have been a functional stoneware potter for thirty years. I have always taken pleasure in the knowledge that the pieces will be used and enjoyed over time. Currently I am exploring the realm of wood-fired salt-glazing as surface treatment as well as the time-honored tradition of gas-fired reduction for copper reds.” David Morgan lives in Danielsville, Georgia.
Denise Nobles born in Boise, Idaho. Raised in the Military by Dad from Montana, and Mom from Ohio. Grew up in 6 different States (the best times of my life). Always had an interest in the Arts, from crafts to woodworking to polishing rocks found in New Mexico with my Dad.
Received a Fine Arts Degree from Ohio University, studying Graphic Design, Art History, Silk Screening, Lithography, Print making, Sculpting clay, Pottery, Raku, Salt and kiln firing, Painting, just about every Art class the university had to offer. Graduated and moved to Georgia.
Got married, had a wonderful Son.. I worked for several Sign businesses, then decided I would open up my own business. It was called Yankee Doodle Signs, it was a very fun, successful and exciting business. I enjoyed making signs for new businesses and giving old ones a New Look. A lot of my signs can still be seen around central GA.
I am now Hand building and Throwing Pottery. I am incorporating a lot of the skills I have learned over the years into my Pottery. My Pottery is Earthy and Rustic. I love Carving Images in to pieces I make. I also like Hand sculpting Mammy Jugs and Roosters. I enjoy make Serving Bowls that have a lot of texture on the outside of them. I use commercial clays and glazes that are Food and Dishwasher safe and I also use Clay from Lizella Ga for my Bird Houses.
To me the Clay has a mind of its own. I may intend to make a certain thing and the clay tells me otherwise, which usually turns out pretty cool.
Mariella Owens love of clay and nature started in early childhood in rural Alabama. The seventh of twelve children endowed her with abilities to work with everyone regardless of differences. It helped to formed her one-on-one teaching style that reaches all of her students regardless of ability and/or intellect. From teaching college educated, certified art teachers to handicapped and home schooled children, her knack for working with all students shines in the work they produce.
Over the years she has led workshops at Wilberforce University and Central State University, both in Wilberforce, Ohio, for Dr. William Bing Davis. She is still in demand to go into public schools to demonstrate her ancient art form for children and faculty alike. In the late 1980s her works traveled as far away as China and Japan touring with the American Black Beauty Traveling Show, a group of twenty-two artists from Ohio and Indiana. That same group of painters, potters, weavers and wood carvers exhibited works in all 48 of the contiguous States. Her many awards for Best of Show and First Place stand as recognition of excellence by various judges in shows in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Georgia.
For thirty-five years, her employment at the Riverbed Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio gave her the platform to develop into the artist she is today. While there, her artistic bent was forged into an artist of exceptional vision followed by magnificent productions that match her world view of life at its beautiful best. Her time today is spent teaching at the Mablehouse Arts Center in Mableton, Georgia. She also exhibits her wares in a dozen arts festivals in and around Atlanta. They can also be purchased in galleries in Ohio, North Carolina and Roswell, Georgia.
Her pottery reflects her affinity with nature in all of its beauty, energy, diversity and changing playfulness. Clay in her hands begs her to turn it into beautiful, fully useful works of art. Her hand crafted colors magnify the beauty of each creation stamping it with an indelible signature that makes it an heirloom directly from the kiln. As one recent purchaser wrote, “Your artwork is a wonderful gift to the world, and I consider myself so blessed to be in its receiving line.”
Geoff Pickett was born in Devon, England in 1955. He attended pottery classes in high school in 1971 and Foundation Course at Bideford School of Art in 1973. Geoff Learned to make Devon slipware as apprentice to Harry Juniper.
Other influences were Michael Cardew, Clive Bowen and Svend Bayer, who fired exclusively with wood, which was quite uncommon at that time. Geoff has received his B.A. in Three-Dimensional Design at Bath Academy of Art in 1976.
He has become more aware of the broad spectrum of studio pottery worldwide. He has worked as a thrower at Lakes Pottery at Truro, Cornwall in 1977-1980, where he made tableware in stoneware and some slipware. There he learned about bigware and the business of pottery.
Geoff has been through Journeyman travels in Asia and the USA in 1981-1983. He has recieved his M.F.A. in Ceramic Design at the University of Georgia in Athens in 1986. He was a resident studio potter at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky in 1988-1990.
Geoff has been a full-time independent potter since establishing Farmington Pottery in Georgia in 1990. He currently uses two woodburning kilns for the larger pots and two gas kilns for tableware. The pots are available at two annual open houses at Farmington Pottery and in various galleries and exhibitions.
Holly Polich makes ceramics out of her home studio in Roswell, GA. When she’s not making pots, she can often be found riding a tandem road bicycle with her husband, Rich. Sometimes their dog Millie rides along on the back of the bike, too.
Her prior education is in fine arts and textile sciences, where she has both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Science, and her first career was as a textile designer for US textile manufacturing.
She was first inspired to make pottery when she fell in love with 19th century food storage crocks. Over the past few years, she has been focused on developing glaze recipes and techniques that create durable and unique surfaces.
Adrina Richard dreams of shaping clay—she thinks about how people, even thousands of years ago, used fired clay for activities ordinary to them, like eating, cooking, and storing. She finds pottery to also be commemorative, representing some event, person, or idea meaningful to their lives that they wanted to share and remember. Pottery links the shaper, users, and admirers together, forming a community that is intrinsically human. Each pot reflects the textures, shapes, colors and forms that influence the potter and conveys these choices to others. For Adrina, working in clay presents infinite possibilities.
Helen Rogers - I think that in an earlier life, I was an alchemist.
I say this, because from as early as I can remember, I have been trying to make one thing into another. When I was a child, mud pies became brownies. My backyard was a far off jungle to be explored. The night sky was the view from my room in a space station. I was a bold solo adventurer on a quest, sleeping under the stars every night.
Of course, mud never became brownies, my backyard was situated in a NY suburb, the night sky was obscured by street lights, and even when my family went camping, we used a tent. But that never stopped me from escaping into my imagination. Then or now.
I think the easiest way to explain HiglyPigly Creations, is that I am trying to transmute emotions. I want to evoke childlike playfulness in adults with the pieces I make. Nothing could make me happier than to know someone smiled when handling one of my rattles or lighting a candle on a cupcake plate. I hope you enjoy these pieces.
Elizabeth Sabatino a native of Long Island, New York, Elizabeth attributes the nautical influence in her ceramic work to the years of living on the coast. She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Columbus State University in 1996 with a major in photography and minors in sculpture and ceramics. After teaching photography, ceramics and glass fusing for 12 years at Britt David Pottery Studio, she began her own home based ceramic studio in Columbus, Georgia. Much of her work contains fresh botanical or nautical impressions. She utilizes multiple glaze firings at different cone temperatures to create various colors and effects. Her work can be found at several shops in Columbus, Georgia.
Jim Sandefur studied pottery under Don Penny at Valdosta State in the early ‘70’s. In the mid-‘70’s, he made a living in Colorado as a potter. His pots have been exhibited in the Denver Art Museum and galleries in Denver, Boulder, and other places. For several years, he was a member of the Denver Potters Guild and taught classes and built kilns for the Guild. Jim stopped potting in the late 70’s and started back in 2007 by firing the first pots he had made in over thirty years in Roger Jamison’s anagama near Juliette, Georgia. In describing the differences, Jim says, “In the ‘70’s potting was a job, now it is a passion.”
Jim’s studio is on his farm in Lizella, Georgia.
Bo Thompson Bio coming soon
Shelby West was born November 13, 1978 in Crawford County, Georgia. Crawford County is famous for its alkaline glazed stoneware that was produced there in the early 1800's through the 1930's. Shelby has continued this tradition using the same clay and techniques employed over a 100 years ago. He grinds his clay with a homemade clay mill, turns his ware on a foot powered treadle wheel and fires his ware in a wood burning tunnel kiln. His Crawford County home is in Adairsville, Georgia.
Keaton Wynn feels that art making is both a meditation and a physical act of the will, a uniquely human activity. Part of his “Craft” ethic is the belief that repetitive acts, which are often considered menial labor, are really profound acts of devotion. To work with his hands in this way connects him with all anonymous laborers and manifests the desire to care, to invest time and energy.
Wynn employs a variety of strategies in making, and though the ideas that motivate his work may vary, it is grounded within the basic commitment to craftsmanship or skilled work. As the conceptual intent changes, he retains the traditional processes of hand-building and wheel-forming while using a variety of clays and firing processes in the service of a given idea. He strongly believes that a commitment to process and materials are the primary conceptual forces in all art, whether sculpture or something more useful in the service of life.
Tripti Yoganathan was born and bred in North India, which is one of the many aspects that influences her artwork. She incorporates her exposure of various folk arts from different regions of India in order to showcase and converse these decorative designs.
She loves making double wall pots, because of the challenge it poses, and the opportunity it gives to decorate an extra layer without compromising the integrity of the pot.