All of us at The Village Potters Clay Center (TVPCC) are so excited to announce that potter and ceramic artist Caroline Woolard is now joining us as a permanent resident potter. Caroline has been an integral part of our community for several years now. She spent two years studying full time in our Advanced Studies Program while also serving as an apprentice on our team. She is a wonderful teacher, offering pottery classes for beginners on our teaching staff. Caroline is also my media technician when I am teaching online. She has spent the last year working on her pots in one of our eight incubator studios, and is building a thriving business in the arts. It has been my hope for some time now that she would delve in even deeper and join us permanently in our community, and now is that time.
Caroline is also a very intuitive person, sensitive and mindful. Caroline’s process is a balance of intuition or what she calls “flow”, and intention, which I define as purposeful discipline. This balance is an exquisite combination to become a master of your craft and a continually growing and evolving artist. She is one of those unique women that has intention fully engaged as a part of her life. She is intentional in her work, her relationships, her play, and rest. She lives an honest and empathic life.
Caroline makes work that comes from the deeper places of creativity, her spirit. Her work shares with others who she is: her loves, her joys and her pursuits. Those who are drawn to her work are connecting with her passions of color, texture, movement and nature. Caroline’s forms are celebrated in purples, teals, and soft whites on a clay of deep red earth. “I enjoy more vibrant colors as I feel they bring more life and joy to the work.”, Caroline says.
Caroline holding her colorful, textured bowls.
“Texture not only adds a visual allure that I enjoy, but it has a very tactile experience to it that encourages more mindfulness with use.”
The vivid colors and textures on her pots are a natural expression of her treasured places. The surfaces of her pots are influenced by her love for her surroundings. When Caroline is resting you will likely find her deep in nature, by the sea, in the woods, by a river, or a waterfall.
“I grew up near water and often visited the river daily. Being near water or in the forest is a happy place for me that has always soothed me. The textures and elements of both water and the forest inspire my work a lot. Many of my creative ideas come to me while out enjoying the peaceful quiet in nature.”
Carved Vessel in soda and ash.
Many ceramic artists use texture tools, they buy commercial texture tools and apply texture to their pots, but not Caroline. She carves each piece fully by hand or adds slip creating motion and beauty. Caroline finds her quiet meditative flow when working and the surfaces of her pots come to life.
Sculptural vessels by Caroline Woolard.
One quality that makes Caroline Woolard so special is that she is not only intuitive but also intelligent. She is thoughtful. She gives focus and consideration to each piece she makes. Is the size right? Does it fit your hand well? Does this sculptural piece evoke remembrance, emotion or thought? Caroline purports that the pots we choose to use to eat on are as important as the choices of what we eat. She believes we can create ceremony in the simplest of our daily routines.
“The routine of certain forms may not always be exciting, but I do appreciate the mediation of repeating forms. I also find motivation in knowing that more functional pottery such as plates, bowls, and mugs are being used daily to encourage people to hopefully slow down and appreciate the moment of the coffee, tea, food and the community they share it with.”
Caroline holding her very popular pasta bowls.
Vessel with wavy slip, soda and ash.
“My textures tend to have movement. It is a part of the making process that I really encourage myself to let go of needing to be perfect or precise, yet allow them to still flow together.” Caroline says.
When I asked Caroline about her experiences here at The Village Potters Clay Center, and why she wants to join us as a professional resident potter on our core team, she said,
“I had not really experienced a true sense of community and belonging in my life before TVPCC. It’s amazing how much one can grow and flourish when they feel seen, supported, and loved. TVPCC is a very special place where you feel everyone genuinely cares and wants to support one another in every way possible. I felt that as a student who then moved into the ISM as an apprentice for 2 years and look forward to deepening that connection with everyone in a new way.”
Caroline Woolard is not only home here but she adds immensely to who we are. You will be seeing more of her work both in our gallery and in our online shop. Come by and visit and you can meet her. You can also follow Caroline on her social media platforms.
Sarah Wells Rolland
The Village Potters Clay Center