Notions-Drye Goods Studio Diary

Thanks for checking in. I am a fiber artist. My current emphasis is on eco printing and other wildcraft with a touch of up-cycling thrown in. You can also catch up with me on Facebook at Drye Goods Studio.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Meet Amy Wharf

Amy and I have been friends for a very long time. She was already a member of the Pottery Place Plus when I joined about 15 years ago. Her pottery is made with classic style and soothing colors. Let's see what makes her tick. Oh! Be sure to read all the way through-there is a recipe-yum!

Have you always been an artist? If not, when did you start?

I have always been interested in the arts. From early childhood I had an interest in drawing and making things. However, in fourth grade I started to study the cello and so spent the next eighteen years focused on music, rather than the visual arts. I had my first exposure to clay in my junior year in high school. It was love at first touch. But I had decided to pursue a musical career so could not continue to work with the clay. About 30 years ago I made the decision to switch to pottery making as my artistic pursuit. I have found I get more satisfaction making a pot that can be used and enjoyed every day than I did from the ephemeral musical arts.

Why did you pick the media you work in now? How do you describe your work? 

I work with clay because I get great satisfaction from every part of the process. I love the feel of the clay when I am throwing on the potter's wheel. I enjoy dividing the pot into sections to decorate with carved or stamped patterns. The variables in the glazing and and firing processes have made me more accepting and open to chance. I describe my pottery as elegantly functional. I start with a classic shape and then add decorations based on the beauty I see in nature.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the thought that my pottery is used and enjoyed on a daily basis. In my personal life, I have rebelled against the industrial food production system. I grow, harvest, hunt, freeze, and can the food I eat as much as possible. I use my pottery to cook, serve and eat from. By extension, when a customer uses my functional pottery, I hope they are "joining the rebellion". I give my favorite recipes to my customers so they can immediately start using their newly purchased pottery.

June's Boy Scout Casserole

6 cups Mashed Potatoes (made ahead)
8 oz Frozen Green Beans (cooked but still firm)
1 lb beef or venison burger (brown in skillet and drain off fat)

Add the following to the meat in the skillet:
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes; 1 6 oz can tomato paste; 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper; 1 1/2 teaspoon Marjoram: 1 clove crushed fresh garlic; 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes; 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes

Put the meat sauce into the Peone Creek Pottery 2 quart baking dish and layer the green beans on top. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the green beans, making dips and peaks with the spoon. Garnish with 1/2 teaspoon paprika.

Put casserole in a cold oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake casserole for 45 minutes. For a crowd size meal the recipe may be doubled and cooked in a Peone Creek Pottery 4 quart baking dish.

Do you have a favorite tool or piece of equipment?

My pottery is either thrown on the potter's wheel, made from a clay slab, or extruded. Once the basic shape is about half dry I decorate it. I have a few commercial tools I use but many of the tools are ones I have made or found. These include pieces of wood, screws, chopsticks, sea shells, leaves, and embossed wallpaper; anything that will make a unique mark or impressions on the clay.

Why do you like the co-op environment? What do you get out of it besides sales?

I never went to school to study pottery making and was working a full time job when I first set up my home studio. I didn't have much association with other artists. So taking the leap and joining Pottery Place Plus brought me into a new world of learning from and collaborating with other artists. This has helped me enormously with business aspects of being an artist and has also been inspiring creatively. Seeing other members grow artistically and explore new ideas has given me the courage to do the same and just GO FOR IT when I am in my studio.

Amy's work may be seen at Pottery Place Plus as well as many local art fairs.

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