Shannon on Apr 8, 2014
My favourite cup to drink tea and lattes when I am creating. Beautiful
Michelle Swafford, Ceramic Artist
My first experiences with clay were in elementary school, building lumpy coil pots and throwing tiny paper clip holders on a kickwheel. After graduating from high school, I began taking a throwing class at a local rec center and continued to do so throughout the completion of my BFA in Graphic Design at the University of Colorado-Denver.
After college, I continued to study ceramics by taking courses at local community colleges and art centers. During this time, I focused on building my technical skills, while also developing my eye and personal aesthetic. In 2011, I was accepted as a Resident Artist at Baltimore Clayworks, where I currently have my studio.
MY ARTIST STATEMENT
I am intrigued with the idea of injecting artistry into the experience of daily life. I create ceramic objects that will be companions to daily rituals, such as drinking a cup of tea, putting on jewelry, or eating a bowl of cereal. I aspire to create objects that are viewed as special and important to their owners, but inviting enough for use in everyday life.
When working, I always begin with the end in mind. What will this piece do? Where will it live? Who will use it, how will they use it, and why will they choose it over others? I then begin a process of design, selecting glaze colors and design motifs, because they will influence the entire making process. At this point, I begin to create the basic form, usually by throwing on the wheel or by slip-casting. At later stages, each object is decorated using a variety of surface techniques, such as sprigging, carving, mishima (colored slip inlay), and use of multiple glazes.
In my current work, I am exploring the use of bold and stylized graphic patterns as applied to daily life objects such as cups, bowls, and jewelry boxes. I strive to create simple and elegant forms that will be embellished with colorful patterns, imagery, and architectural-style details. I come from a graphic design background, where images are constrained by the margins of the page, so I create boundaries for my decorative motifs, leaving the user to wonder how the patterns would continue on. I am also interested in using patterns and motifs in various sizes, creating a dense and layered surface that captures the eye and invites visual and tactile exploration.
Around the web
Owner, Maker, Designer, Ceramic Artist
Michelle Swafford is an Artist-in-Residence at Baltimore Clayworks in Maryland. Her current work consists of high-fired functional porcelain pots embellished with colorful patterns and architecturally inspired details.
Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
Small items (such as jewelry) ship via First Class Mail or First Class Mail International. Larger pottery items ship via Priority Mail or First Class Mail International. Express Mail (1-2 days) is available for an additional fee; please contact me if you are in need of Express shipping.
I process all orders within two business days and ship within three business days for in-stock items. In many cases, your order will go out the day after you order.
I ship all international orders within three business days, but it can take 4-6 weeks for your order to get to your country and get through customs. Faster international shipping is available for an additional fee; please contact me for details.
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Additional policies and FAQs
Wholesale inquires are welcome! Please contact me with your request.
CAN I ORDER ITEMS AS GIFTS?
Of course! List the name and address of the recipient in the shipping information and I'll ship the order straight to them. Let me know it's a gift in the "Message to Seller" section and I'll include a note card with your personal message!