Bob Campbell got his first touch of love with pottery when he saw a PBS show of a Japanese potter who went through the entire process of digging clay, throwing pieces, firing and glazing. "I had done some painting, some drawing, some stained glass, some candle making, some photography, etc. and just thought I'd like to give pottery a try," he says. He made the remark to his wife, who decided that for his 50th birthday she would surprise him with the gift of his first round of classes held at a local Roanoke elementary school with instructor Phil Weaver. "That was 27 years ago," Bob states with a smile, "and I don't plan on stepping away from the wheel or the slab roller any time soon.
The feel of the clay is most rewarding." Bob shares about what makes clay so appealing to him as an art medium, "I am primarily tactile and then visual, so clay meets those needs. It's really the therapeutic benefits above a certain look or style that keeps him mired in the clay. "Aesthetically," he explains, "the beauty is in the process." Rather than having a definite shape or goal in mind when he sits down at the wheel, Bob says he prefers to let the work evolve as he handles the clay. "I don't always know when I cut a piece of clay and sit at the wheel exactly where I want to go," he shares, "This keeps mystery in the process for me." Perhaps it's the willingness to "go with the flow: that give his work a balanced and fluid style.
Instagram: @oddfoxpottery Website: oddfoxpottery.com
I first started taking ceramic classes in 2012 and have been pursuing ceramics as my major hobby since 2015. I use both wheel throwing and hand building methods to make functional and decorative pottery. Having a tactile feel to my work is important, so I often try to use matte glazes. My background is heavy in soil and geology, which also influences the feel and structure of my work. Carving clay reminds me of exploring the face of a fresh soil pit, with gradiens of color blending into each other, albeit you generally don't find the bright colors I use in a soil profile! I have recently begun to teach hang building classes in Blacksburg, VA at the YMCA, which is a joy. My work is available online and can be found at local and regional craft shows.
Stephanie H. Firestone - Sculptor and Painter
My medium for sculpture is clay. The subject matter ranges from the human figure to non-functional Raku vessels to wall pieces. My enjoyment comes when the art form evolves as I work with it. Clay has many properties and drying periods, which make it quite versatile. I am also a painter using the acrylic medium. My work can also be seen at the Market Gallery, 22 Campbell Ave SE, in downtown Roanoke, VA.
In her home workshop, Cole makes pottery that is mostly functional, round and striped. Her pieces are exclusively for sale at the BRPG annual show and sale.
Nell J. Fredericksen
Sugar Grove Studios
The natural world, the beauty that I see in everything around me flows both consciously and subconsciously through all my designs. I love taking the raw materials and making them “move” with my hands into the shapes and textures that I picture in my mind. That, plus the play of colors on those shapes with different glazes, produces pottery that is both decorative and functional.
Nell has been a professional goldsmith/jeweler and potter for more than 28years. She is an ACV Juried Master Artisan and Juried Round the Mountain Artisan. She teaches a broad slate of Metalsmithing courses for the Floyd Center for the Arts in Floyd, VA
Lee Niebuhr Pottery
Rocky Mount, VA
Phone: Messages can be left at 540.420.7420
Social: Facebook or Facebook Messenger at Lee Niebuhr Pottery
Hello ceramic fans and collectors! So glad you found the Blue Ridge Potters Guild website to view a sampling of just some of our amazing artists. I happened upon the world of pottery after retirement, looking for a hobby to keep me busy. I feel like I hit the lottery with this craft, and haven’t looked back. Still developing my creative side and learning so much. Find your passion!
I started throwing pots in 1992, and I enjoy working with a variety of clays, glazes, and decorative techniques to create stoneware that’s both artistic and functional. I use wax-resist designs, surface textures, carvings, and sgraffito to add a little extra flair for pots intended to be enjoyed in everyday life. I make all kinds of pieces - bowls, plates, cups, vases, planters, etc...- but my favorite work has always been creating one-of-a-kind mugs.
Long before I started to work with clay I was a purchased many pieces from small studios and individual potters. I was always impressed with their skill at producing unique work. The gifts and collected work were attractive, functional and had character. In the late 90's I took a class in pottery and started on a journey that eventually led to Earthworks Pottery. Earthworks has two major functions: to teach classes in making pottery, and to sell the ware made at the studio. Potters seem to be a special group of people and the classes are always challenging and interesting. There is a gallery attached to the studio and it is open for browsing and sales.
Barbara began working with clay in 2003. Her work is both functional and decorative. Lamps are now Barbara’s main focus. Some of her