My love for pottery started as a young girl, watching my grandmother create birds, their delicate nests, and other small creatures from clay. Her mother, a Native American of the Shawnee Cherokee Nation, taught her a love for art and nature, and in turn, she instilled in me a love for many forms of art, including music, sculpting , carving, and pottery.
I studied pottery and art while in college in Southern California and became an established potter and sculptor, displaying and selling my wares.
In the early eighties I discovered a talent for interior design, became certified, and started my next career. This career developed a greater understanding of form, function, scale, texture and color, which proved to be of value in my later clay work when I moved back to my home state of Washington.
By the early nineties I was spending time enjoying music, singing, interior design, sculpting, floral design, and wood carving. Also, after a long absence from working with clay, my favorite form of art was rekindled. Soon there was a demand for my pieces and I began clay-making full time, thus, Claymakins’ Pottery Studio was opened.
Inspiration comes in all forms, for me it is my love of nature, friends, and also a well developed imagination. My work varies like most artists, I focus on what inspires me at the time. I like to create functional pieces, such as dinnerware, casserole bakers, and platters, but, I truly enjoy creating custom orders, indoor and outdoor décor, and pieces of whimsy such as, my Leaf Spirits, Happy Curmudgeons (including their own biographies) and Sea Sprites for the garden or around the pond.
Sculpting whimsical faces on mugs, bowls, leaves, bird houses and making frogs and little creatures, keeps the levity flowing, gives me a great deal of pleasure, and brings about smiles and shared laughter with others.
Lately, I have focused on my Native American ancestry by sculpting Native American figures embellished with leather, turquoise and feathers, as well as creating interesting cave lamps with carved faces inside to give a nice ambiance to a room. I enjoy doing these very much.
All of my pottery is hand thrown or hand built, and individually glazed, making each piece a one-of-a-kind. Because each creation is handmade, there will be differences even between similar works.
Claymakins’ Studio produces stoneware pottery that is lead free, oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe. The garden art has withstood outdoor temperatures as low as 17 degrees.
I hope you enjoy my pottery as much as I enjoy making it!
Judy Hensley joined Fine Art America on June 26th, 2008.