Participating Artists - Christina Collins
I can't remember a time when I didn't make art. From the time I was a small child I loved making things and I especially loved to draw. In 1976 I took my first pottery class in college and instantly fell in love with what I've always thought of as a truly magical process - using just your hands and a little water you can spin sloppy wet blobs of mud on a potters wheel and create something that's not only beautiful but functional as well. Add fire to the end of the process and that beauty becomes permanent. It seemed natural to me to combine my lifelong love of drawing with the blank canvas of the wet clay. I draw each design by hand directly onto each piece of pottery while the clay is still slightly soft, then carve that design into relief. I use a high firing white stoneware clay because of it's strength, it's similarity to porcelain and it's ease of carving. Another technique I use is to coat the surface of the clay with a thin layer of black slip (basically liquid clay with oxides added to it to make it black), draw the design through the slip and then scrape off all of the slip that isn't part of the design. Both are time consuming processes but I enjoy doing them and I love creating truly one-of-a-kind pieces of functional three dimensional art. The clay and all of the glazes that I use are lead free, food safe and the pieces that are not decorated with gold, silver or opal lusters are safe to be put into the microwave and dishwasher.
Mary Jane Jewell