I have been blessed with a good life, and I thank my dear Lord daily for it. I have a wonderful family and a husband that has been supportive of me as I have gone through this journey of discovering myself. I have the privilege of being able to go to my studio everyday and I bring the creatures of my imagination to life.
My passion is clay … or rather sculpting with clay is my passion. I think I knew this when I first discovered clay when I was 5 years old, while playing outside of a family lakeside cottage. But my creative journey didn’t begin with clay. As with most artists it has been a transformation through various arts and crafts to uncover that passion.
My background is in fashion design. I attended school in Atlanta, Georgia. After 1 year I dropped out and realized I didn’t really belong in the Fashion Design environment. I loved drawing and designing the fashions, I just didn’t like assembling them. I quit school and went back home to Goldsboro, NC and got married to my high school sweetheart, George.I spent most of those early years raising our two children, Jennifer and Jason. I have to say they are my greatest creation. And we have added to our family, a daughter in law, son in law and 3 grandchildren.
I developed an interest in the 70’s for decorating eggs after seeing pictures in a craft magazine. I decorated and created miniatures for eggs for about 15 years. I attended egg shows and won several awards for my decorated eggs.
In 1988, a friend and fellow artist, Sandra Naylor, decided she wanted to start sculpting portrait dolls of children. She asked me if I would be interested in becoming her business partner. This was when I was introduced to sculpting. My friend and I learned all we could about sculpting, making molds and took doll classes on how to make porcelain dolls, china painting and assembling them. During this time, Sandra became very sick with a reoccurring cancer. Sadly my friend and partner passed away. After her passing,I decided I was really more interested in sculpting on a smaller scale than life size. My decision was partly because of the miniature dolls that were available for dollhouses. They looked stiff and had no expression to them. Their hands were like clubs. I sculpted my first doll in 1992 and in 1993 I had my first mold out on the market. It was named Addie Mae, after my Grandmother. Today, I have 23 miniature molds and sell to customers all over the world. Many of dolls have been featured in doll magazines.
In 2004, I started taking pottery classes, along with my husband George, at Dan Finch’ s Pottery. This brought me back to my love of clay. I started throwing pottery and creating
one-of-a-kind sculptural and figurative pieces. I have had very good response to my sculptures and pottery. A
now I sell them through shows and at galleries. I am proud to say that one of my pieces were featured in Clay Times, a pottery magazine, and also in the book 500 Raku published by Lark Publishing and is a book of Raku pottery.
A lot of my pottery have faces peering from behind leaves or within a crack. I think this must be my signature, because whenever anyone sees these they say “Theresa must have made that piece”.
I still love sculpting miniatures and have not given them up. I will never get away from sculpting those tiny faces. I have plans for a few more molds. All of my molds are named after family members and I still have family members that don’t have a mold yet. I also have been working on a pattern book for dresses in miniature scale. But I spend most of my time now throwing and sculpting one-of-a-kind figurative pieces, …. sometimes having an emphasis on fantasy or the bizarre. I love to tell stories with my pieces, evoking some type of emotion from the viewer.
I would love to close this out with something really “artsy” to say, but those phrases never made much sense to me anyway. So may I just quote a line that a good friend of mine named Michelangelo said “Art is — but a shadow of the divine perfection.“ This is what I strive for.
Now isn’t that beautiful !