“I’ve been working with clay for as long as I can remember, but got serious making wood-fired pots in my early teens in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I spent my junior year in college studying with rural potters in Kenya, and continued to explore atmospheric firing (wood, salt, and soda) throughout graduate school. Later, long-term artist residencies in Philadelphia and Bali deepened my relationship to ceramics. Currently, I’m a resident artist at The McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, VA. I make porcelain and red earthenware pots as well as small-scale minimalist sculptures and artful jewelry.

“My work is informed by the traditional Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi, characterized by simplicity, intimacy, and refined imperfection, as well as the elegant, clean lines of Scandinavian design. My surface treatments range from minimalist glazes and geometric patterning to playful drawings of poppies and rock stacks. After twenty years of working exclusively with porcelain, I recently made a sea change in my studio and began making pots with red earthenware. These new pots are a bit rougher—handles, edges, and rims are left raw, energized, to evidence the materiality of the clay. They’re painted with washes of color and simple, free form designs are etched into the pots. I want my pots to feel good in the hand and be easy to use. It’s my hope that people who engage with them experience a sense of connection and comfort—that my pots ‘make special’ the everyday-ness of daily use.”

Studio number 15

email: rawostrel@gmail.com


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