Tell us about who you are, what do you want to say as a statement about you?
My name is Catherine Reece and I live in Dublin, California (just east of Oakland). I am married and a mother of two kids. I have been professionally selling my pottery for 8 years. I was waiting for my husband to graduate from design school and find a job while i worked and played with clay. Over a few years I began to build a small business selling my pottery. MY husband didn't find the job of his dreams and so he joined my in the studio as my partner. Now we make our living as artists selling pottery.I think I am still trying to figure that out.
I used to know about 6 years ago who I was but now I have two kids ages 2 and 5. I try to find a balance between artist/business woman, wife and mother. On a good day (which is most days) I am excited about making pottery and creating new designs. I am amazed and thrilled that my customers keep coming back to buy my artwork and continue to say how happy it makes them. I am grateful to be able to help provide for my family and I am grateful to God that he gave me this gift to be able to create with my hands. And I am most grateful that I can spend every day with my Husband of 15 years at home working side by side and watching our children learn and grow!
What was your first experience with ceramics/pottery? It was at a Junior college, Pasadena city college, Ca. I was 19 Years old (20 years ago). I only did hand built stuff. Small stuff. I was intimidated by the Wheel. So I didn't try much throwing. The little throwing that I did do looked like little candle holders. It wasn't untill 7 Years later when I began my true adventure in clay. I took a ceramic class at a small art center. I got on the wheel and I never looked back. The first few years I threw only bowls. People would say "when are you going to throw something else?" And I would reply "Well, when I get tired of throwing bowls I will throw something else!"
I notice a lot of your work features insects and birds....nature themes. Tell us more about that and other inspiration for your art. Well,God is the author of life and it is through nature that i am mostly inspired. I also pay attention to small details in other artists/crafters work. It is usually a small design element or an illustrated line that catches my eye and I take it and make it bigger and incorporate it into my art work and make it my own.
A few years ago I first saw a dragonfly on a lake in Cable, Wisconsin and was fascinated with its flight and vivid colors. I began to draw other bugs and insects, the "dung" scarab beetle, cricket, praying mantis and the house fly. God created each beautiful and intricate insect and I feel compelled to draw them and tell their stories." When I first saw your Beetle Dung plate, at first I did not know what to think....by the time I finished reading the plate I was laughing out loud. I found it to be so unique, educational and funny. You must have a great sense of humor!
Do I have a sense of humor? People always say that when they see my work. "Oh, you must have a great sense of humor!" I guess I do. Though, I think of my self more as a silly person. I like to be silly with my husband and two young kids. You know, making silly faces or saying something silly that they wouldn't expect. When I began incorporating my stories in the pottery,the dung beetle and praying mantis are quite silly and whimsical, I thought of it as "just the facts". I went to the library and found this information about these insects. I was inspired by someone who presented their photography with a small story in captions below. I love words and type. I was very excited.
Do you have any suggestions for someone who would like to give ceramics/pottery a try? It seems like it would be so expensive just to start?
Patience! Especially if they start at the wheel first instead of hand building. I takes a lot of practice just getting the lump of clay centered on the wheel. Just have fun! Don't be afraid of getting dirty! Classes shouldn't be too expensive if you take it at a junior college or an art center. The tools and clay are very inexpensive and the firings are usually included in the class fee.
Where else might we find your work or more information about you?
The gallery store in Oregon that you have the link to and other then that my husband and I mostly travel around the Bay area selling pottery at the art festivals on the weekends in the spring, summer and fall with 2 shows in arizona and a handful in Southern California where we grew up. I list my show schedule on my website http://www.villageclayworks.com/
I always like to add something random to my interviews:You are going to be stranded on a desert island. Name three things you must have with you.
MY pillow. I love my pillow. I always get a better nights sleep with my own pillow. I don't have a lot of possesions or things that I have to have or can't live without but I would take a pair of scissors so that I could keep myself busy making art and craft projects out of leaves or twigs. whatever is on the island. I have to be creative. the third would be a kite, one that does loop de dos or tricks for entertainment. I could also use some of the kite string for my craft projects.
Thanks so much for participating in this interview Catherine. I wish you much success. If you have not checked out her ETSY shop yet, please go over there for a moment.