Ceramic artist Winifred Potenza presents a portfolio of handbuilt and uniquely patterned “non-vessels” and vases. Visit her website to see more of her art.
I have been an artist for over fifty years, twenty-five of those years in New York and the remainder in Northern California.
I work in series which could consist of anywhere from six to two hundred-plus paintings. Some of my series include The Hearts Of The World, The Peaceable Realm, California Landscapes and Domesticated.
The Peaceable Realm was a 360 foot painting exhibited internationally and at the United Nations. The Hearts Of The World is a series of paintings intended to honor every nation in the world by using the color and elements of each nation’s national symbol—the flag—to create another universally understood symbol—the heart.
Presentations have been made to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the United Nations, among others.
Fortunately, however, seven years ago I became a hermit. My studio is a converted barn located in a small town in Northern California. This location and lifestyle choice has given me more freedom away from the logistics involved with being an artist.
Four years ago, I was visiting my son who is in the Air Force and his Japanese wife on the East Coast. During my visit, we watched dozens of videos of Japanese potters. I was entranced.
On my way home from the airport, I stopped and bought clay and have worked with it almost every day since. Basically, after painting almost every day for over fifty years, I stopped (well, almost…) and have been creating hand built vessels with clay. I became a potter and a sculptor.
At this time, I only hand build even though I have a wheel and often think about how interesting it would be to actually use it. For now, though, I only use the coil and sometimes the slab methods.
I have found working with clay to be much more difficult than I thought. It sometimes takes weeks to finish a piece. I am obsessed, however, with the act of building something. Every new day is a challenge which keeps things interesting.
My next project is designing and building a sculpture garden dedicated to Mother Earth filled with images inspired by nature.