Thank you to all the potters; Erazo Balch, Lynn Curran Sargent, Odette Heideman, Martha Martin, Nancy Morris, Cathy Rees, and Elsie Sealander, you beautified our exhibit room with your useful and gorgeous pottery.
Featured Artist Bios
Lila Erazo Balch
Growing up in a pottery making village El Salvador, C.A., gave me a love of pottery and the desire to create shapes from clay. Connecting with Haystack, multiple potters since college and now the Brooklin Pottery Coop has allowed this dream to come to fruition. Holding the clay leads me to the form. The natural beauty of Brooklin, inspires my glazes. My joy is complete when customers give these creations a home.
Pottery is a creative process of that involves so much that I enjoy: the throwing and building, the firing, the failures, the successes, and the continual problem solving. I’m so happy to be a part of it. My work is largely functional and I hope it expresses my love of clay, color, and carving.
It’s been 50 years since I first learned enough about pottery to recognize I loved it, and it has been a passion since then.
In the 1970’s, I was a young woman from Maine living in the East Village of New York City, looking for a place to call home. Fortunately, I met Jaqueline Weaver, the potter and owner of a small studio called Random Pottery, who took me under her wing and taught me a great deal about ceramics. After she retired I took over Random Pottery and moved to several locations along my way to Brooklin. Now this is home! (Random Pottery/29 Reach Rd/Brooklin, ME )
I am most inspired by the ceramics of early 20th century Japan- a period of great innovation and respected creativity. My childhood was spent in Japan, France and the U.K. and those years continue to influence my choices and add another dimension to how I consider the (human!) nature in our daily rituals.
Having studied Art History at university, and 19th & 20th Century Decorative Arts at Sotheby’s in London, my first job was in the Photography Collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where my lunch hours were spent investigating the museum’s prodigious ceramic collection. My own clay training did not come until much later, formed mainly with master potters, Lisa Hammond and Kevin Millward in the UK. These two potters along with Akiko Hirai have deeply impressed upon me the importance of ceramic history and the innate beauty of the functional form in daily use.
My work has been exhibited at the Jane Hartsook Gallery in Greenwich Village New York, in the Clay College Gallery at Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent in the U.K., as well as on the 2020 Blue Hill Peninsula Potters studio tour. The newly published lifestyle book, The Cannabis Apothecary by Laurie Wolf (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2020), features my work made for the project. My studio is featured in the upcoming publication A House in Maine by Maura McEvoy and Basha Burwell (Vendome Press, 2021).
You can find my work at The Quiet Botanist in Hudson, NY, and on this website. I am a member of the Craft Potters Association in the UK and of the Maine Crafts Association in the USA.
Martha Martin, of Sedgwick, first worked with clay as a teenager when she took a recreation department ceramics class in Lexington, Massachusetts. Her interest in ceramics was rekindled after retiring from teaching English in Connecticut and Massachusetts. She has studied pottery with Jamin Eldredge of Cape Cod and Lynn Curran of Brooklin, with whom she shares studio space. Martha feels great gratitude to Lynn and the local community for being so supportive. Martha’s focus is to create pieces of beauty and functionality on the wheel and with slab work.
Hello, I’m Nancy Morris. I’ve been throwing pots for 20 years. My passionate pursuit of form and surface was launched by the gift of ceramic lessons at a Florida Studio. Next, I had the great good fortune of studying with Susan Beecher. Susan is an artist who creates functional ware that not only looks good it also feels good. Her approach shapes my process. I’m mindful not only of how your favorite daily mug looks but also how it feels in your hand and on your lip. I like crafting a beautiful covered serving dish that enhances that special meal. Water and flow inspire my recent color choices and pottery surfaces. I’m obsessed with inventing glazes that react with serendipity in my electric kiln and express my fascination with water. I hope you like them.
Cathy Rees has always had her hands in the mud. Whether in the garden or in the clay studio. She has studied ecology and has worked in parks, forests and in the landscaping business for most of her adult life. Her interest in pottery developed along with her interest in the tangled web of life, particularly the botanical world.
Without formal education in clay, she has attended numerous workshops and short courses in various aspects of pottery making wherever her travels have taken her. She is currently a member of the Brooklin Pottery Coop, a communal clay studio, where she creates wheel thrown forms that are often altered, pierced and excised to reveal layers of structure and form. She draws inspiration from the native flora that inhabits the coast of Maine and finds connections and patterns in its beauty.
“mud. works in clay by Maine artists”. September 29 through November 5 2015. Common Street Arts 93 Maine Street, Waterville, Maine.
“Fired Up” ceramic works by 32 artists. July 31 through August 22, 2015. Harlow Gallery 160 Water Street, Hallowell, Maine.
Currently showing in the following galleries:
Maine Crafts Association, Gardiner, Maine 2014-2020
Artisans and Antiques, Winter Harbor, Maine 2015-2020
Handworks, Blue Hill, Maine 2016-2020
My first experience working with clay was in college in a required art class. I loved it. Then when I retired from teaching, I joined the Art League in Deer Park, N. Y. I did my clay work there for about ten years. When I moved to Maine, in 2008, I joined the Brooklin Pottery Coop.
The plants and animals that have been in my life have greatly influenced my work in clay. Whether they be my own pets and plants or animals that have visited my garden or plants and animals I have seen on hikes or trips, they all play a role.