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Monday, March 12, 2012

Featured artist: Judy from JudyBFreeman

Today I'd like you to meet Judy from  JudyBFreeman and her whimsical and colorful ceramic and pottery creations!  Enjoy the interview my dear readers.

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
At the core of my heart I am a ceramic artist and potter. Some days all I want to do is throw on the potter's wheel. I don't really care what I'm throwing, just that I'm focused on the clay going around in circles on the wheel. Other days I'm working more as a sculptor creating animals and fish and then I have other days that I'm concentrating on glazing. I've been doing all of this since college, where I fell in love with clay work. I had the right teacher that gave me the right nudge in the right direction. It's been over 30 years and I still get a kick out of opening the glaze kiln. I live in Tampa, Florida and work out of my garage studio.

Ceramic Butterfly mug
2. What do you sell?
I have an eclectic mix of things that I sell. Fish teapots, tabletop fish, cats, various other animals, mugs... lots of mugs with a variety of glaze themes including butterflies and rainbows... lots of rainbows. I love bright colors so I manage to include color into my work and I love whimsy so between those two themes it pretty much sums things up.

3. Why handmade?
Why handmade? Because if you're reading this, you're human. We need to get back to being human. Having the human connection and one of the ways to do that is to relate to the maker. Hear the story behind the creation process, share those stories with our friends. When you buy mass-produced there are no stories. One of my stories is that if you look at my mugs, all of the handles lean to the right. When I attach the handles I take great care to line them up so that they're straight. The amazing thing about clay is that even though it's inanimate, it has a memory. The wheel thrown mug remembers where it was and when it dries and is fired it tries to go back to where it started and unwind and when it unwinds it takes my handle with it. Yes, I could try to figure out where to place the handle to end up with a straight one but I think it's more interesting crooked. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Cat sculpture figurine
4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
Hmmm. My inspiration for cats and their expressions came from 4 cats that we had. I started out sketching them and then created my first out of clay. I've made hundreds since. Inspiration for fish came from a wonderful book that my wonderful husband purchased for me, Coral Reef Fishes. When I opened the book I was in awe of the artistic beauty of these fish. My mind went crazy and the ideas just flowed like a tsunami. Alot of the time inspiration flows one off the next. I also find that talking things out with my husband will lead to some suggestions from his perspective. Sometimes ideas actually come from customers who ask if I've ever thought of doing _____ (fill in the blank). I'll think it out for a while and quite often come up with a new path to wander down.

5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
No full time job for me. Been there, done that. I'm happy to be at a time in my life where I'm back to the person that I was meant to be. Clay is one of my passions and I'm thrilled to be doing clay during the age of the internet. As for other things that I do, my husband and I have found great fun riding his motorcycle with friends. The bike has opened up such wonderful opportunities for travel and a way to meet new people. I love to take photos and I create pendants using my images. I have a second Etsy shop called jbfphoto

Ceramic bowl
6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?
It's funny because even after college and graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I didn't really feel comfortable calling myself an artist until about ten years ago. This is what I wanted to do when I grew up.

7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
Most influential number one was my college ceramics teacher, David Tell. He passed away a few years ago. But he was the one that looked at my horendous square bottle that I constructed and said "Ginerbread House" Two words that have stuck with me through the decades.

8. Where would you like to be in five years?
Five years - I'd like to continue to be working with my clay, coming up with new wacky ideas and continuing to learn and grow. There are so many things to learn that to fool yourself into thinking that you know it all is a crazy notion. I think that applies to every art or craft medium.

9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general?

I'd love to one day work in porcelain.

Ceramic fish photo holder
 10. Besides online where else do you sell?
I sell in a few local galleries in the Tampa Bay area (A Little Room for Art, Clay and Paper and Florida Craftsmen), also in a gallery in Chicago called Chiaroscuro. I sell at local, low-key, no tent required art and craft festivals.

ways to contact you: 

1 comment:

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