I was born and raised in the
Washington, DC area. I attended the Interlochen Arts
Academy and received my BFA from the North Carolina School of
the Arts. I began working with ceramics in 2002 when my
husband gave me lessons as a Christmas present. That led
to a three year apprenticeship with Jonnie Kinney an
accomplished potter in
Richmond, Virginia. As my mentor, she nurtured my interest
in the craft and taught me the techniques required to realize my
artistic visions. Perhaps most importantly, she encouraged
me to create a style that was uniquely my own.
Today I live in Ridgway,
Pennsylvania with my husband and our three cats (actually we
belong to them). My studio and gallery is located in the
heart of downtown Ridgway, PA at 143 Main Street and is open
most days. My work is in several area
galleries and I exhibit at several Fine Art shows each year.
As a child, I was mesmerized by dance. I
was fascinated by the difficult jumps and turns that the
delicate dancers made look so easy, and the way they were lifted
and tossed as if they were weightless. I was awed by the
strange and colorful costumes, the brilliant lights and dazzling
sets surrounding those beautiful and magical dancing creatures.
As a ceramics artist, I am inspired by and
employ many lessons acquired from my years of dance training as
I dreamed of a career as a ballerina.
For me, the clay is the body of the
dancer. I use a gritless, white stoneware which appears to be
delicate and fragile, when in truth, it has great strength and
elasticity. As my “dancer” pirouettes on the wheel, it flexes-
expanding and contracting into elegant forms. I am the music as
I use the rhythm of the spinning wheel to encourage the clay to
compress and stretch into fanciful shapes which, like a prima
ballerina, are lightweight yet deceptively strong and durable.
Once the form is complete, it is costumed
in richly colored glazes or textured in swirling black and
white, enhancing the shape and drawing the viewer’s eyes. Each
piece allows the viewer to bring to it their own feelings and
experiences, inviting them to see and lift for themselves a
light and graceful dancer.
As you look at a piece of my work I hope
you see the dancing, laughing lines, the unexpected bursts of
color and the joyful movement. When you hold a piece of my
pottery in your hand you’re also holding a small piece of my
childhood spent in the ballet.
Twisted handle on a Brie Baker