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I’ve been an artist ever since I held crayons. I decorated everything and made endless mud-pies. I was the busiest, messiest kid on the block.

It was logical and practical of course to study medical technology, that was until I took a painting class. Liver flukes lost their glamor, replaced by my real passion, mud-pies. I graduated with a B.S.F.A. from the University of South Dakota, and continued making art, and still continue. I feel like the guy in “Close Encounters” making the lumps of clay into Devils Tower, not knowing why, just knowing he must.

My creations are spontaneous. I see compelling images in a lump of clay. The clay speaks to me, wills itself into a certain form. I am fascinated by shape, color, and movement. For me making art is a way of seeing, being, and thinking. I am grateful that earth formed art previously known as mud-pies replaced microorganisms. Hope you enjoy!

Some of my Art

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Larry Gabbard began his pottery career after moving to Kingston, TN.    His initial training began at Oak Ridge Art Center.  Most of Larry’s pottery is wheel thrown, but he seeks out unique alternative kilns and firing techniques.  Some of his alternative firings are: raku, horse hair, saggar, obvara, and pit firing.  Larry seeks out well known potters and attends workshops  to learn their unique techniques.  He has attended classes at John Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts at Rabun Gap, GA, Mudfire Gallery, at Decatur, GA, as well as the ORAC at Oak Ridge, TN.  Larry enjoys fast-firing techniques which create a rich variety of textures and colors on bisque clay.  He finds the unexpected marks made when clay, heat, and smoke interact to be among the most intriguing and challenging of finishes to perfect and reproduce. 

Member of:     Foothills Craft Guild

                        Art & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville

                        Art Market Gallery of Knoxville

                        Oak Ridge Art Center

Linda Sullivan, who holds an MFA in ceramics, creates functional and sculptural vessels out of stoneware and porcelain clays. Inspired by various landscapes and drawing on her strong background in painting, she employs a unique glazing process by pouring and overlapping her glazes in a purposeful, painterly way to depict landscape imagery. She says, “viewers of my work often verbalize about being reminded of landscapes from their own personal experiences and [share with me] the memories that the imagery evokes.”

Lisa has been a professional potter for over  40 years. An award winning ceramic artist, she first set up her studio, Highland Pottery, in the eclectic Highlands neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky after earning a Master’s Degree in Ceramics from The University of Louisville. She previously taught  ceramics, drawing and art history at Pellissippi State, Cleveland State and at local pottery studios in Knoxville, Tn. and in Louisville, Ky. Teaching clay and mentoring young potters has been a big part of her life. She was previously a Master Artist in Tennessee Crafts’ Master Artist Apprentice Program. 
     
    Lisa’s clay work has been featured and shown in galleries and juried fine arts and craft shows across the country and is in many private collections nationally and internationally. She has been a juror for the Foothills Craft Guild, Tn. Craft and Terra Madre: Women in Clay. Lisa was the Artist Coordinator for the first Art Fair KMA at the Knoxville Museum of Art. She started and directed  the Whittington Creek Art Show, which ran for 10 years  when she lived in Whittington Creek. Currently she is the  Vice President of Terra Madre: Women in Clay, a local group of women clay artists in the Knoxville area. 
     
    Lisa throws and hand builds her pottery and often integrates the two methods to create her functional pottery and clay wall art. She emphasizes the malleable qualities of clay by altering her pieces while they are still wet. She welcomes and encourages the happy accidents that take place in the making and in the firing process. Texture, as a means of communicating a point of view, is critical to her work. Currently her art explores and emphasizes the contrast between raw, earthy, stretched slabs of clay and smooth, polished wheel thrown glazed forms. Her work is made from a white stoneware clay 
that she fires to 2300 degrees Fahrenheit. Lisa highlights spontaneity in her work which has led to her experimenting with various types of atmospheric firing including wood, soda, pit and electric firing. Her functional work is all microwave and dishwasher safe. The fact that people can use her work in 
their everyday lives is very important to her.

To learn more about Lisa’s work visit her website Lisa Kurtz * Highland Pottery:

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