Quigley Ceramics

Luminous Pottery for the Home


MY STORY


I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way-- Things I had no words for. 

Georgia O'Keeffe

The Beginning

I've been an artist as long as I can remember. I always thought that I'd find my outlet on stage. The moment I first heard Les Miserables (3rd grade) I knew I'd be on Broadway in no time. Living an our hour outside New York City, sometimes I thought if I sang loud enough they would hear me and cast me immediately. They didn't hear me...but my brother and sister did.Sorry guys!

While pursuing the performing arts, visual arts were a sanctuary. You see, actors and singers are reliant on an audience, on applause, on very live, intense, and immediate feedback. While I loved that aspect of performing arts, I relied on visual arts to provide a more quiet, secret interaction: I wanted no one but a trusted mentor to see my work, to applaud, or critique. I figured, it was still art even if no one saw it. Because of this relationship I developed to paint, pen, and canvas, I could go on a million auditions and be told "no" without a thought, but the idea of pursuing art as a career, exposing myself and my work to judgmental eyes, terrified me.Many have told me how impressed they are with performers who are able to withstand audition after audition with courage and grace.I, however, am most in awe of painters and sculptors who put themselves out there with ease.
  After college, I dipped in and out of figure drawing classes.While in New York I took classes with Sherry Camhy at the Art Students' League, whom I highly recommend.She was my cheerleader when I jumped back into art and encouraged me to exhibit my work.In Los Angeles, I took classes at Barnsdall Park.A little artists' hamlet on a hill overlooking LA and the Hollywood sign, Barnsdall offers art classes for very little money.It was here that I would discover ceramics!
 While attending a drawing class, I peaked into other classes during breaks. Next door was a ceramics class. I was enthralled! Here were regular people using their hands to shape cups, bowls, vases, you name it.Yet, they were also making beautiful pieces of art. I thought,"How freeing!"One could make a gorgeous, interesting, or thought-provoking work of art and disguise it as a utilitarian object. Don't like my aesthetic? Who cares when you can drink out of it. Don't like my use of color? Fine, put some cereal in that displeasingly colored bowl...you won't even notice. I signed up for the very next class.
  What comes next was a healthy mix, as many potters can relate, of hair-pulling frustration and utter addiction. I knew it would take time to throw on the wheel, but man did it take time.What made it easier was Youtube.God bless Youtube.My husband sat quizzically night after night as I fell asleep to the entrancing videos of experts centering clay.Finally, one day it worked.I could make a pot without it slumping.Clay flowed evenly through my fingers rotation after rotation.Not only that, but when pieces imperfect, I took them home and started carving, etching, and manipulating them.The clay became a canvas to explore texture, color, form, and composition on a whole new level.
  That brings us here today. I love making pieces that are humble works of art.The slip trailing, the painting, the carving, all of these applications allow for a perfect harmony in my world: My artist's hand, the earthiness of the clay, and the uncontrollable nature of glazing and firing.
  With much support of family and friends, I'm striking out to introduce my work to the world.I truly hope my work brings joy and beauty to others' lives. 

 

Inspiration

   My mother's father was a pilot.  My father is a pilot.  My Husband saw much of the world before he was 23.  Travel is in my blood and all around me.  I've been so fortunate to see some of the most amazing sights in the world.  I knew these experiences fed my soul, but I had no idea how they would inform my artistic life.

 Artists are often asked to speak of what inspires them.  I think, if most of us were really honest, we wouldn't be able to tell you.  This is most true in the moments during and just after creation.  If the work is really good...then the inspiration is often all the more complicated to put into words.    

My process is closer to playful improvisation than to the scientific method; images come to me unexpectedly.

That said, I often return to three great loves: Yosemite, New Jersey and Spain. 

Yosemite is my favorite National Park.  Underneath towering evergreens and Cathedrals of granite, my soul finds peace.  My husband and I are so in love with this magical place that we were married here.   

I grew up in New Jersey.  As a child, I spent countless hours swimming in lakes, getting lost in the woods, and watching the seasons change.  I didn't appreciate the natural beauty that surrounded me then.  Now I do.

Recently, My husband and I spent three weeks in Spain.  It was Fantastic to see the works of Picasso, Dali, and Gaudi in person. However, I was most inspired by  the city of GrAnada, home of the Alhambra. Every inch of this moorish palace teems with breathtakingly detailed inscriptions, carvings and designs.  I've been incorporating these images into my own work with great passion.