MC; What do you love the most about being a potter/ceramist/ clay worker?
BW: For starters, I love the immediate results! I’m also a very tactile person and happiest when my hands are manipulating something, so holding a warm lump of wedged clay in my hand feels natural, comforting somehow. Clay isn’t my first crack atbeing creative, but I’d have to say it gives me the most pleasure!
MC: What inspires you ?
BW: At the moment too many things! I’m a fairly new to pottery and admittedly I’m not a terribly patient person, so of course I want to try everything….and I want to do it now! I’m inspired by the work of so many talented artists, not just in the craft of clay but in all aspects of hand made. Anything patterned,textured, colourful. I love whimsy and I’m a nut for anything distressed, shabby, pre -loved, peeling…you get the picture…
MC: Tell us about the processes involved in producing your work ?
BW: I make functional pottery, but what I really love to do is some what sculptural. It involves a combination of hand building and throwing various “parts” on the wheel, joining them and then altering them in some way. I add bits of clay that I’ve rolled textures onto or pressed into sprig moulds and paint them with underglazes. These eventually become my “Jarheads” and “Potty Mouths”; figurativejars and salt pigs, distressed and somewhat primitive with “Coraline” inspired faces. I also love sgraffito and paper resist and more recently mishima. Truthfully? I love the fiddly stuff. I can spend hours on all the little details!
MC: Describe your studio
BW: At the moment it’s in the basement of my house. It’s a windowless room that I’ve attempted to brighten up with a wall of turquoise blue paint and bright yellow cupboards(which happened to be there prior to becoming a studio and seem to work). It’s a nice sized room, and I have a great table to work at. I also have a sink,which it seems is something a lot of potters don’t have the luxury of, so I’m very appreciative of that. I can’t imagine being without one! It’s fitted it with a Gleco trap, but I still use buckets as well, so that very little clay residue goes down the drain. My kiln sits upstairs in my porch just off my kitchen so that I can open the patio doors and the window for venting. It’s the first year for me and my kiln andI’m finding that little ole’ porch gets pretty warm when the weather is hot but I’m looking forward to warming up that chilly room once winter comes.
Now…my dream studio…ahhh… I dream of a lovely little studio,…my own “hut” that’s filled with sunlit windows that open to let in a lovely little breeze......*sigh* maybe one day!
MC: How do you market and sell your work?
BW: To date, I’ve only attended two sales. The first one, I shared a table with my local guild and sold several pieces but what really made it a fabulous sale for me was the wonderful feedback I received and meeting the author of my very favourite pottery blog, Carole Epp…who said the nicest things about my pottery andeven invited me to take part in a local sale that her collective craft group holds! Through this same sale I was invited to apply as an emerging artist in an art market organized by our Provincial Crafts Council. I have 2 ,possibly 3 more sales for the upcoming Christmas season that I’m really excited about! Eventually, I hope to get my work in some exclusive gift shops and perhaps a gallery! I’m also considering Etsy or something like that.
MC: How did you find Mud Colony?And what impact ,( if any), has it had on yourblogging?
BW: Well….I met Elaine Bradley, potter extraordinaire fromAustralia, through an online workshop we were both taking from Diana Fayt. Through Elaine, I met Adriana and it was love at first site! Hahaha.. I’ve admired Adriana’s work for a few years and followed her blog. We’ve become really good friends and she’s been so supportive and is always willing to answer my endless questions. As far as Mud Colony’s impact on my blog? HUGE! I love getting the feedback and though I’m a bit of a slacker when it comes to writing on a regular basis, I’m finding that more and more people are visiting it! I try to visit each and every blog in return and find I it really interesting to see what others are doing.
MC: Are there any clay blogs that you ALWAYS look at ,and why?
BW: Musing About Mud by Carole Epp….from day one really. I don’t think I need to explain why because it seems that all potters visit her site! A wealth of info there! Of course Mud Colony, because it’s now become a sort of potter family for me. I love Jenny Mendes and Linda Fahey JenniferMecca….honestly, I have so many it’s to the point of being ridiculous!
MC; What would be YOUR advice to someone just beginning their practice?
BW: Just do it! It took me years to finally enrol in my first pottery class when I’d been talking about doing it for ages. Who knew I’d finally find “my thing”!Brenda is a regular contributor to Mud Colony with her Blog -Brenda Wolf Ceramics