Sunday, January 15, 2012

Featured Artist - Adrina Richard

Neither rain nor sleet nor snow has kept Adrina Richard out of the studio for the last 8 years.  (And very only occasionally has she been delayed by lack of coffee.)  An expert handbuilder with an eye for contemporary style and geometry, she is one of the most approachable, generous artists we've had the pleasure of meeting.  It's not at all infrequent that you'll find her leading an informal how-to in the studio, sharing glaze information, or just demonstrating the latest of her new tools to a group of curious studio members.  A relative newcomer to the 30,000 year-old clay scene, Adrina has been juried into some very prestigious shows (The American Craft Council, Perspectives and Fired Works for starters) and exhibits at several galleries in the Southeast (including MudFire Gallery).  Not bad for an ex-con.... read on!

Tell us something unusual about yourself. 
I was arrested during the civil rights era in Atlanta.  The inside of the Atlanta city jail in the 60’s was not pretty and the food was terrible.  Here's a photo of me and fellow convict, rep. John Lewis.

Describe the moment you fell in love with clay.  Have you ever cheated on it?   
I don’t remember the exact moment I fell in love with clay but it was soon after I started working with it.  The possibilities overwhelmed me, and still do.  There are so many ways to express oneself in clay that I have found myself taking workshops in methods I probably won’t ever pursue, but they are so fascinating I just must explore them.  I have taken over 50 workshops to date.  However, I have some serious talks with myself about staying focused and not straying too far.  The danger is always there to be scattered and thereby accomplish little.  I’ve only “lusted in my heart” about jewelry.  It’s up to you to determine if that is really cheating.

Who has been the most influential instructor in your life, and what was the most important thing you learned from him or her?  
I’d say that the most influential instructor, to date is Annette Gates.  Taking her workshop a few years ago and admiring her work has greatly influenced my work.  She taught me some techniques which really helped me develop my body of work. 

How much of your own pottery do you use in your own home?  Other people’s?  
We use all ceramic pieces at home, both my own and from our collection.  I love to take pieces from the wall and other places and serve food in them.  I have replaced all glasses with tumblers and cups made of clay.  We enjoy naming the artists as we put food and drink on the table.  I think about their work and admire it as I use it.

If you collect pottery, do you tend to collect deep from one artist or style, or broadly across many artists and looks?
There are soooo many wonderful ceramic artists out there.  I do have multiple pieces by some artists but collect broadly.  The variation is amazing.  And, of course, some if it is decorative as well as functional.  I really cannot limit myself to one style of anything, including furniture in my house.  It’s really a mix.
Where does your inspiration come from?  

 In looking at my work I’d say Asian art is definitely an influence.  I must have been Chinese in a past life.  Or, that Mongol DNA got dropped in the Caucasus.

Does the change of seasons affect your pottery?  Your methods?
I sweat more in the summer.

Do you ever get potters’ block?
Since I hand build a lot, I like to throw pots to break the routine.  I also try making weird shapes to see if they have possibilities.  I call those prototypes.  And, as my fellow potter, Ginger says,  If they work, then they are the first of a series.
Where would you like to be in ten years? 
Alive and making pots!

Visit Adrina's artist page at MudFire Gallery and check out her sexy pots!

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