6866 Main St., Wilmington, NC 28405
910-679-4257 or 484-885-3037

Monday – Saturday 10am – 7pm
Sunday 12 – 6pm
& By Appointment

“Traudi Thornton Studio Ceramics & Pottery” – Preview Party

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Date(s) - 11/17/2023
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Art in Bloom Gallery


Photo by Chris Brehmer Photography

Art in Bloom Gallery is pleased to announce a very special event in collaboration with the estate of master ceramicist, Traudi Thornton (1940-2023). Join us for a a special preview party which will be held on Friday, November 17th from 5-8pm with live music featuring solo jazz guitar, Roger Davis!

Traudi was a staple artist at the gallery and participated in exhibits and sales beginning in 2015.  Throughout the weekend of November 17-19th, the gallery will present a Studio Ceramics & Pottery Sale along with a small retrospective exhibit of work by the late ceramic artist.  Art in Bloom Gallery is honored to be able to release a special selection of her work to the public during this special 3-day sale.

Traudi’s true calling was nature and gardening. Her study of the medium was a product of the strong connection she had to it. From the process of how she worked with clay, studying the chemical compounds she used for her glazing to her intricate and scientific firing techniques, her relationship to each of the pieces she created was primal.  Traudi’s special interests include hand-building, surface texture, ceramic sculpture, raku and terre sigillata. Her work ranged from sculptural wall pieces, raku vessels to functional pieces.

About the Artist
Traudi Thornton was born in Czechoslovakia in 1940. She first studied music at Creighton University before studying ceramics with Henry Soreco at Creighton, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and raku in a workshop with Paul Soldner at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1972. She returned to Germany and joined a cooperative art community in which she lived and worked on ceramics.

Love precipitated her move to Wilmington in 1983. She once again built a ceramic studio and began teaching ceramics at the Community Art Center where she influenced many budding ceramists.

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.”

Traudi showed and sold her work through Art in Bloom Gallery beginning in 2015. She is survived by the family she chose and loved here in Wilmington, NC.