Clay, and its endless possibilities, has facilitated a means of self expression and creative discovery for thousands of years. Still today, to lose yourself in the creative process is a journey of self discovery and finding purpose.
I sat down to have a conversation with Avery Latronica, a wonderful potter and ceramic artist, and I got to share in her creative pursuit and hear her speak about her personal reward.
Avery began working with clay in high school and college, but life sent her on a path that led her away from it for 15 years. The desire to get her hands back in the clay was simmering and stirring inside her. She told me, “When I got back to clay, I surprised myself! I had so much creative inspiration that I didn’t know I had. I feel that everything has happened at the right time.”
Creativity does not lie dormant as many might think. In fact, for those who are intentional about fostering creativity, it can be like a well that keeps increasing until it bursts to the surface like an artisan water flow.
When Avery came to The Village Potters Clay Center some years ago, she was just looking to get her hands back in clay, but what she unearthed was an artist teaming with ideas and a deep desire to master her skill set. “Repetition and consistency have made me a better potter. My technical abilities have improved,” says Avery.
Avery began to create work that fulfilled her, and stirred new ideas to the surface. Her focus at the wheel was obvious to anyone who passed. She was lost in her process, or rather she found herself in her process. Carl Jung said, “[she] who looks outside, dreams, [she] who looks inside, awakes.” Avery Latronica is a creative who looks inside, and she is fully awake. “If you believe in yourself, things happen and that’s when my pots are really good.”, says Avery.
It’s not easy for most artists to articulate their personal connection to their work, but that is not Avery. She poured out exquisite words to describe her passion. “My work is a connection to our past with a modern or even futuristic feel. Pottery is always about past culture. I take those feelings and honor them in a new, indigenous way,” says Avery. As she spoke of her work I understood exactly what she was saying. Her work is most times functional with quiet whispers of the ancient potters of our past. “I am Italian,” she says, “I want to honor many cultures without appropriating, but rather connecting, and making it new.”
When we look back at the work of ancient potters, we find a common focus on line design and clear division of space. Avery explores these same kinds of surfaces, but when you look closer, you find a sharper more contemporary edge to her work.
Now having completed our Independent Study and Mentoring program, Avery is setting up a studio in her new home with her life partner. As I write this, she is acquiring the equipment she will need; a wheel, slab roller, a kiln, and more. It takes time and an abundance of faith to choose the artist’s way, but for Avery there is no turning back. The well that she has tapped will not cease to flow, but rather will only increase, as she defines the “new indigenous” qualities of her pots.
“I take inspiration from everything in my personal life. When I’m creating I am more joyful, I enjoy my other job more, and I love my partner better. Creativity is all about you, but it touches everything,” says Avery.
To see Avery’s journey, purchase her work, and share in the “new indigenous”, you can follow Avery @mudville_designs on instagram.
Sarah Wells Rolland
Founder and Ceramic Artist
The Village Potters Clay Center