There is something special about eating and drinking from a hand-made mug or bowl. If you have ever stopped into the gallery, chances are that you have spotted Pam Robinson's whimsical and refined ceramics.
Clay is a very malleable substance that can transform into marvelous and cherished pieces when in the hands of an amazing artist. For Pam, this will sadly be the last firing she does for us at Chico Paper Company. She's retiring her clay pieces and focusing solely on her jewelry making.
Pam invited us into her studio as we watched the evolution of her tiny magical bowls. She also sat down with us and shared her experience creating these beautiful pieces of art. She has sold hundreds of potted pieces, and her work will be missed in our gallery.
How long have you been a potter?
I have been an artist and potter since I was a child.
What was the first piece you ever made?
My first piece was a small pinch pot which I made when I was about 8 Years old. I am 64 years old now so that makes my ceramic experience about 50 years! When I was 22 years old I took my first ceramic class and began learning to throw on the potter’s wheel. I continued taking classes intermittently mostly at community colleges. I began making masks when I lived in Grass Valley. I sold my first piece when I was 35 ... to my instructor! I produced some very nice raku pieces when I was in my 40s living in South Lake Tahoe and sold my work while living there. I was able to establish my own studio when we bought our house in Chico 16 years ago.
What has been your favorite piece you’ve ever made?
It is hard to say what my favorite piece is because I have explored so many styles and my work has evolved incredibly over time … but I have four small fantasy creature masks that were framed in a shadow type box (by Chico Paper Company) I really love that piece and it hangs in our bedroom where I can enjoy it daily.
What will you miss most about creating ceramics?
I am retiring as a ceramicist because it is very physically demanding for me as I am not as strong as I once was. Unlike the sexy image portrayed in the movie "Ghost " where Demi Moore is looking fabulous throwing pots ... the reality is there is much heavy lifting and processing clay and glazes that is difficult for me now.
I truly love ceramics though, and I will miss the three dimensional forms, textures and creative applications of the art form. The magic chemistry that occurs when applying colorful glazes is often surprising and exciting.
To me clay is a beautiful natural substance that comes in many colors and textures. It is plastic, malleable, water soluble, and odorless. The possibilities of form and application are endless. Ceramic vessels are one of the most ancient art forms and present day industrial applications of ceramic ware is astounding.
I am passionately attracted to beautiful ceramic art ... which makes me want to create it. This is what I will miss.