Gretchen from Gretchen Quinn Pottery
Describe your style, influences, inspiration, and what you plan to bring:
I make functional ceramics with a clean modern feel. The inspiration for my work comes mainly from what I want to have and use in my own home. I’m definitely under the spell of well-made crafts and much of what I make spins out from my love of Danish Modern and Shaker designs where simplicity, utility, and honesty are among the guiding principles in their work.
My pottery is handmade out of a beautiful dark brown stoneware clay and glazed in glossy white. The pattern details are hand painted with gold luster or carved freehand. I never use pre-made patterns, templates or textures. To me, it’s the freehand markings that makes my pots feel fresh and modern and what tells the user that every piece is handmade.
All of my pottery is handmade in my Raleigh, NC studio and durably designed for everyday use.
How did you learn your craft?:
Clay has been a constant in my life. I was lucky to always have opportunities throughout school to make and explore the medium and I just knew it would always be there. It’s really hard to quit clay. I actually tried, but I just kept coming back to it again and again. After receiving my fine art degree, I have taken tons of clay classes in lots of different studios around the country. All of these clay instructors are somewhere in the pots I make today. I never walked away from a class where I didn’t take away a few new techniques that improved my making. Now as a clay instructor at The NCSU Crafts Center I’m sharing all of these skills with new eager potters and learning even more from watching how they make.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out and/or what is the best advice you have received for your art & business?:
My advice is to make what you love and what you want to have and use in your daily life. You also need to be committed to working really hard and to be open to opportunities even if they are out of your comfort zone.
We all have those people that love you tell us what we “should” make. What’s the worst “best tip” you’ve ever gotten?:
Make what YOU love and believe in it. If it isn’t a hit the first time out, give it time, maybe revisit and tweak, but don’t give up on it. Making what you love will show in your product.
If you have sold or attended before, what’s your favorite Handmade Market memory or purchase?:
Handmade Market is just the best! Being in this show has led to meeting and learning from so many great makers. It’s really nice to know you are not the only one working away in your studio at odd hours and that there are others pushing towards similar goals. The Handmaiden’s have brought together an amazing community of makers and lovers of handmade.
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