It’s Giveaway Week!!! We have two fun giveaways this week, starting with this hand-crafted utensil jar from Christine Tavares Pottery! We fell for Christine’s “organic chic” (and totally affordable!) pieces when we featured this jar as an idea for a winter bulb planter.
Enter to win by just leaving a comment on this post! Tell us what you think, how you’d use it, whatever you want. We’ll pick a winner from the comments later this week and notify the winner by email.
Read on for our interview with Christine and her tips on how to add affordable, original art to your home:
Hi Christine! Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into pottery.
I’ve been married to the funniest man in the world for 15 years and we live outside of St.Louis. I get to thank him for my premature smile lines! We have three beautiful children and three dogs. I’m a “working artist” and I also teach part-time. I love reading, wine, music and entertaining.
Since I can remember, I have always been creating something…drawings, paintings, sculptures, edible treats, etc. I found clay mistakenly in high school when I thought “ceramics” was a class where we would paint little statues and dishes. Imagine my surprise on the first day when the teacher brought out lumps of brown mud! I was disappointed for about 30 seconds. Clay and I have had a nonstop love affair ever since.
I create functional vessels for every day use like mugs, serving platters, pouring vessels, bowls, etc. It is important to me for things to be useful and beautiful. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to be at a gathering with friends or family and to see food beautifully displayed on handmade pottery. I currently selling my work on Etsy, on consignment and in local art fairs.
What are 3 items that you couldn’t live without in your home?
My Dyson backpack vacuum cleaner (again – 3 dogs), my treadle wheel (it allows me to feel more connected to my work) and laughter.
We love your pieces. Do you have a favorite that you’ve created over the years?
Early in my career, my pieces were very tight and controlled and not very interesting. I was having a creative block and Paul Dresang (my college instructor) put me through an exercise in letting go. He said, “Take a piece of clay out of your bag, throw it down on the wheel. Just make something”. I was furious! But I realized what a thrill it was to just let go.
My favorite piece is something that I didn’t have the strength, creativity or courage to do on my own. By letting go, I was able to break away from manufactured-looking, cold pieces of pottery and find my style which is organic, rustic and sophisticated all at once. Here is a picture of that wonderful, graceful and fluid little bowl.
Who or what do you look to for inspiration?
Much of my work is inspired by nature. I really like the femininity of flowing lines, rounded shapes and waves. I also am inspired by elements of a comfortable home so I try to make items that add to a home’s surroundings. Some of my favorite ceramic artists are Bede Clark, Charity Davis-Woodard, and Clary Illian.
A lot of people see original art and bespoke pieces as expensive and unattainable. Do you have any tips on how the average person could incorporate more art in their home?
Functional pottery is the perfect way to incorporate art into your home! Everyday pieces that you use often typically aren’t too expensive and they are actually little pieces of art! Visit local art fairs, Etsy.com and events at local universities. College art departments occasionally have sales on many types of art from students as well as from the faculty. You can find some wonderful art at bargain prices.