I am a working ceramic artist living in Des Moines, Ia. I make elegant brightly patterned functional pottery. My work fuses functional everyday pottery with lively brightly patterned paintings. All of my work is handmade on the potters wheel and hand decorated using my own designs. I am inspired by vintage American and Japanese fabric and wallpaper. Along with pottery and tile designs from the Middle East, South America, and Poland. I think of the different fabrics used in quilting to create motifs on my pieces. I like to play around with the division of space, and the combination of different patterns.
Most of my pieces take between three and six hours of hands on time depending on size and complexity of the shape and surface design. I take my time, working diligently with care to create well crafted pottery that is functional but also pretty and fun to use. My decorating process is time consuming because of the many steps. But it allows me to explore fabric like designs with texture on a 3-D piece.
My pottery is decorated by using colored underglazes that are painted on the clay when it is still wet but no longer pliable. I hand draw my designs on each piece, some use traced paper cutouts to increase accuracy. After drawing the design I carve through the underglaze to reveal the clay beneath. This method of decorating is called sgraffito. I combine sgraffito, stamping, and slip trailing in my work to get the patterns I desire.
Along with being an artist I am also a stay at home mother to three pre-teen and teen-age children. I work from home in my garage studio. This arrangement allows me space to work, but also allows me to be present for my children.
I studied art and ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and Kirkwood Community College- Cedar Rapids. I spent approximately 13 years staying at home with my children and practicing my craft when time allowed. This long expanse of time allowed my style to evolve slowly over time and for me to improve my skills. I began selling my work in May of 2014. My work is available through a few galleries, my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/MacFarlandPottery, and the couple of shows I do throughout the year. Please see my Calendar and my Shop pages to learn more.
Thank you - Emily