Traudi Thornton was a ceramicist creating Raku and Stoneware.
She was born in Czechoslovakia and raised in Germany. Traudi first studied music at Creighton University before studying ceramics with Henry Soreco at Creighton, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and then moving back to Germany. The artist relocated to Wilmington in 1983. Additionally, Traudi completed a Raku workshop with Paul Soldner in 1974 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
She started her day at 3:30 am to work on her ceramics. She preferred not to rush, to take her time, to complete her work properly. She loved her rescued dogs and walked every day enjoying nature and her canine companions.
Traudi said, “Working with clay validates my existence. During the plastic state, the relationship is that of master and a much beloved pet. I tell the clay to stay and push it, but often I have to listen. We have a rhythm.
Clay needs heat to be transferred to a hard material. After the first fire everything turns from a state of grey to pink, and a slight estrangement takes place because they now look different than what they did before.
Glazes also look pink or white or grey before they are fired. I imagine now how the optics will look in their final state, and after making choices the second fire takes over. Total surrender is demanded by heat and flame. After the firing is completed, the cooling period leaves my mood fluctuating between doubt and hope. And, then only after removing the pieces from the kiln, can I say they belong to me. They passed on into my consciousness.”