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I graduated from Humboldt State University with a Biology/Botany degree, but spent most of my working years with the USPS as a Rural Letter Carrier. In 2013 I took a basic wheel throwing class at the Fire Arts Center in Arcata. Two sessions later I took a tile making class and learned traditional decorating techniques. I started experimenting with using the technique of cuerda seca on vertical pieces. Cuerda seca is a method where wax is mixed with a colored stain. This is applied by brush to bisque fired pottery and glazes are applied to the areas within the lines. The early attempts showed promise and I knew I was headed in the right direction.
People seeing my early attempts commented that it reminded them of Arts and Craft period pieces. I started exploring Arts and Crafts era pottery online and discovered that artists were doing work similar to what I was trying to produce over 100 years ago. I find inspiration in the works of Rookwood, Newcombe and especially the Saturday Evening Girls Pottery. Every piece is an experiment in design and glaze combinations. The pottery I throw and the tiles I roll and cut serve as my pallets.
My ceramics are functional, utilitarian art. They are meant to be used as well as appreciated as pieces of art.
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E-mail Julie Cairns directly