Traudi Thornton – Ceramist
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.”
Dianne Evans – Ceramist
Local artist and potter, Dianne Evans, has had a passion for art since childhood. She was born and raised in scenic Indiana, Pennsylvania. Dianne developed an interest in art while studying under an inspirational high school art teacher. This experience also inspired her to want to become a teacher. Dianne earned a BS in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1994. In 1995 she moved to Wilmington, North Carolina where she began teaching in several private schools. Although she is no longer teaching, she works at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Continuing her love of art, she took art classes at UNC Wilmington in 2009-2010 where she focused on sculpture and ceramics. A field trip to Penland School of Crafts sparked an interest in pursuing ceramics as an art form.
Dianne is an active member of the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild and participates in local art shows. She predominately works in the medium of clay focusing on hand-built pottery.
My current work consists of minimalistic forms that make a statement on their own and act as a canvas for designs and patterns. The form dictates the design. My surface decorations are inspired by curves, organic shapes and repetition and the relationship between form and design. The shapes and patterns interact with each other creating movement across the surface and draws your eye around the piece. My work is meant to bring people joy, peace and serenity through form, color and design.
Brian Evans – Ceramist
My current body of work is inspired by contemporary and futuristic objects and architecture. My sculptural work reflects modern abstract designs that resemble architectural structures. These structures consist of curvilinear and geometric lines and shapes that move the viewer’s eyes around the piece. The negative cutouts and recesses in the sculptures resemble windows or doors that do not reveal the interior space. I am intrigued by how the light and shadow interplay while painting an interesting shadow on the pedestal or wall. The shadow is different depending on the angle at which the light approaches the piece. The patinaed surfaces on my work reveal an aged or weathered look. I find the juxtaposition of present and past intriguing. I incorporate similar elements into my pottery with the intention of conveying modern designs with interesting lines and angles that draw the user’s eyes around and into the piece.
Brian Evans was raised in Western Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1993 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Studio Art where he focused in sculpture and painting. He moved to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1995. He began in ceramics through the Continuing Education program at Cape Fear Community College while searching for an outlet for artistic expression. Brian studied under a Japanese-American Potter named Hiroshi Sueyoshi. He immediately recognized the caliber of Hiroshi’s skills as an artist and took full advantage of his instruction.
From 2002 through 2008, Brian taught Pottery Classes through the Cape Fear Community College Continuing Education Program. He also became a full-time ceramic artist. Since 2002, He has received various awards at Fine Art Shows and Art Festivals. In 2003 and in 2005, Brian was awarded The Regional Artist Grant for New Hanover County, North Carolina. His work can be found in public and private collections across the nation and abroad. Brian is a founding member of the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild in Wilmington, NC which began in 2007. He is currently the Executive President of Orange Street Pottery Incorporated which is a 501c3 organization that includes Coastal Carolina Clay Guild. Brian began teaching at Orange Street Pottery in 2017 and is teaching there currently.