A Family of Artists
I was born in Georgia, but I spent most of my childhood living up and down the East Coast until I was in high school. My family moved back here when I was a teenager, and I went to high school in North Georgia.
I come from an artistic family. My mother’s side is very fiber based. We have exquisite hand made quilts from my great, great grandmothers, as well as hand-dyed wool hooked rugs and needlepoint art. Crocheting, knitting, sewing and embroidery run rampant on that side. My maternal great grandmother was an amazing seamstress and also spent part of her 20’s in New York City making hats. That was around 1907 and was rather unique for a little old Georgia girl at that time. My father’s side is very 2D, painterly based. My paternal grandmother painted eyeballs for injured WW2 soldiers.
I would say that I’ve definitely been an artist since I was born. I spent most of my school age years drawing–specifically in pen and ink, until I was about 25. It wasn’t until I was living in Chicago that I started throwing pottery. I took my first clay class at Lillstreet Art Center. This place definitely changed my career as an artist. Like a lot of people, I had always been interested in clay and throwing. I registered for a beginning wheel class, and the rest was like magic. It was definitely a transformative experience. Lillstreet offers a variety of classes, so I also took Screen Printing on Fibers. I combined the screen printing on fibers with my sewing background, and Retrofied was born. It took over my life within six months of sewing that first bag, and it allowed me to move back home to Georgia.
Daily, I try to continue to grow making new work, while still producing favorites like mugs and bowls. I currently own mugs and bowls from Kathy King, Aumie Horie, Brooke Noble, Mitzi Davis, Jessica Broad and Lisa Bradley in my cabinets. My favorite piece is a beautiful, hand carved mug from Kathy King. I drink out of it often! I bought it from her while at a workshop at Arrowmont in Tennessee.
Pricing work depends greatly on the number of hours to create the piece and the cost of materials. That is what determines market value of my work. I sell online and locally in Savannah at Parlour and Gallery 209 and in Asheville, NC, at the Asheville Museum of Art. Typically, I will participate in about two craft fairs per year. Juried shows are also important for so many reasons. Personally, I love participating in local Savannah juried shows because it keeps me active in the craft community, and is a great way to find talented local artists.Typically, I try to participate and apply to three or four Savannah shows per year.
Savannah is full of so many amazing hard working artists. Galleries live to carry local artists, which is great! Art March as well as holiday sales take over this city all year long, so there are great chances to sell work here. If I had any advice for an emerging clay artist who wants to become a full-time artist, I would tell them to participate in local shows–be a part of the craft and clay community, and let people know you are making awesome work. Photograph your work and have it online, not only to sell, but on social media so that people will find you.
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