Anja Bartels is a journeyman potter with a passion for wheel thrown porcelain. She moved to her new home in Asheville after completing a traditional apprenticeship under the German guild system. Having grown up on the North Sea is a key inspiration for Anja, and her love for marine life is reflected in her art.
"What is so exciting about looking at a sleeping tiger?"
"Nothing. But if you take a stick and poke at it, you will remember that tiger for the rest of your life!"
This is part of a conversation I once had at the Minnesota Zoo.
In many ways, this parallels my attitude towards clay: it requires poking to awaken it. One must push the limits, test waters, search, prod and explore its many boundaries.
For more than ten years my work has been focused on Miniature Teapots. The teapot form continues to challenge and fascinate me. The work shown in this gallery is the result of over a decade of evolution in color, design and form. I invite you into that place.
I feel blessed to be able to pursue the life of a potter -- especially when it requires poking the sleeping tiger...
Becca Floyd graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in fine arts in 1994. After graduation, Becca and her 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 Becca became a Resident Artist 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 person.
Paul Gisondo is a lifelong potter and current studio assistant at Odyssey Clayworks. He has given numerous raku firing workshops in the Hudson Valley area of New York State, where he hails from.
Laurie Caffery Harris grew up in Boone, North Carolina, a small college town surrounded by the peaks and valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains. From a young age she was compelled to work with her hands, watching her mother, a professional painter. On weekends she spent time in the woods with her father, where she learned to identify mountain ranges & types of trees. Encouraged by her creative parents, Laurie grew up passionately exploring different medias, primarily painting + drawing.
It wasn’t until beginning college that Laurie got hooked on working with clay. Four years later, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in ceramics at Appalachian State University in May 2014. Currently Laurie is a Studio Assistant at Odyssey Clayworks. Her functional pottery explores finding belonging, and the playful whimsical moments that exist in reality and in our imaginations.
Cynthia Lee has been working in ceramics for 30 years. She is a self-taught ceramicist with the gracious help of many clay friends. Cynthia was the director of Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts for 5 years. She is currently a full time ceramic artist with a studio at her home in Barnardsville, NC.
Mac McCusker graduated from Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia with a BA in Art and went on to teach and manage the Ceramics Department for the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs for several years. She received an MFA in Ceramics from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Graduate school enabled Mac to work at other ceramic studios including MudFire, Meadowlark Studios, and Arrowmont. Her work has been in exhibitions nationally. Mac has been teaching workshops and classes at the college level in Savannah at Armstrong State University and Savannah State University before joining the Odyssey as a Resident Artist in 2015.
Linda McFarling lives and works in the beautiful mountains of western NC. Her aim as a functional potter is to make pots that honor the rich traditions of the past, while hopefully adding to them. Linda's pottery is wheel thrown, textured and altered directly on the wheel in an attempt to create strong, quiet, lively organic forms. The textures she uses are drawn from natural objects and the landscape. She aspires to integrate those forms and textures found in nature with the unpredictability of the firing. Linda fires in an atmospheric kiln using salt and soda which allows her to influence the work during the firing which directly influences the final outcome.
Laura Peery is a ceramic artist who makes teapots. She exhibits in galleries and museums in the US and abroad. Find her work in permanent collections of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, Fuller Museum of Craft and The Kamm Teapot Foundation.
Matt Rudloff is currently a studio assistant at Odyssey by way of a move with his wife Amanda from their hometown of Seattle, Washington. He earned a BFA in ceramics from Southern Oregon University located in Ashland, Oregon. Outside of the studio, his interests include adventuring with his wife into the Carolina Mountains, catching baseball games, and hanging with their cat Frankie.