"Where's Briggs Shore?" "I'm right here!"
Yep, Briggs Shore is my real name! A family heirloom that I resented as a child, but now I feel really fits my creative personality. I grew up on a farm in Iowa. People who haven't been there think Iowa is flat and boring, but I'm a huge fan of my home state. It's beautiful and diverse. It's full of rolling hills, delicious food, and friendly people, and I miss the humid summers and far away horizons.
I got an Interior Design degree from Iowa State in 2007. I learned to make pots in high school, but focused my creative drive on a number of other outlets through college. Once I graduated, I treated my love of clay as a hobby for the next several years while I worked for an environmentally friendly home improvement store, managed a Permaculture design non-profit, designed and built a few buildings out of natural materials, taught myself graphic design, and waited tables to fill in the gaps. I started taking clay seriously in 2015 when a friend encouraged me to participate in a pop-up craft show.
Since then, I've been waiting tables to pay the bills while spending as much time as humanly possible in the studio. I've been fortunate to participate in residencies and assistantships that have taught me a lot about the kind of artist I do and don't want to be. In 2016 I moved to Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, and right now I'm the Artist in Residence at Penn Cove Pottery.
In my spare time I play a lot of board and roll playing games, and take a lot of walks on the beaches and woodland paths of this beautiful place. I also eat a lot of delicious food, which is easy when your partner is a baker and you're a part of one of the best restaurant communities in the Pacific Northwest. Moving forward, I hope to participate more fully in the artist maker community on this side of the country, and develop into a full-time professional studio artist.
All about my pottery:
Aesthetically: I'm a proud member of the current crop of simple and modern handmade ceramics, with a unique take on what that means. My style is somewhere between Midcentury Modern, Scandinavian, and Contemporary West Coast. I offer work that from far away might look machine made, but up close you can see the ridges where my fingers pulled up the walls, the slight wobble in the lines that I inlaid by hand, and the unique curve of the individually molded handle of your new favorite mug.
Because my background is in design and not fine art, my instinct in the studio is to make a useful set of dishes rather than pieces of art you hesitate to pick up. All my work is durable enough to use every day. You can put them in the dishwasher or microwave. Although they are handmade, they behave and can be used just like any ceramic dishes you may have in your home now.
Technically: All my work is wheel thrown, and hand decorated. I'm using Laguna's ^5 Frost Porcelain, which is a fussy clay body but gives me the bright white and smooth texture that I love. I use colored slip to decorate my work. The different colors are created using the same clay body with added colorants, or with commercially available underglaze. I inlaying the solid black lines using a Mishima-like technique: incising the line with a sharp tool, filling it with black slip, and sponging it back to reveal a crisp line. Everything is fired to ^6 (about 2200º) in an electric kiln.