Ceramic artist Avesha DeWolfe shares her portfolio of functional and sculptural work inspired by the ocean.
ABI: How did you develop your organic style?
AD: I have always been an ocean fanatic and a compulsive beachcomber. These aspects of my personal aesthetic have come through, consciously & unconsciously, in my pots and sculpture since I first started seriously making art. Until 2009 my work was thrown on the wheel; the sea came through in the glazing mainly and in the curvaceous forms.
The forms and design of my current body of work developed after moving to Scotland in 2009. I was a thrower without a wheel and had to dig back into my memories of early handbuilding classes to find another way of making pots. I thought this would only last until I was able to afford a new wheel but, five years later, I haven’t turned back from the slab. I just love it!
I find that, for me, handbuilding allows so many more intuitive options for texture, volume, and creativity, and it has forced me to look at a pot in a whole new way. When you’re throwing you don’t have to think so much about some of the details because they just happen. However, with handbuilding every millimeter of that pot has to be carefully considered and offers a challenge. Since turning to handbuilding, most folk who look at my work immediately feel the sea inspirations, which I think is fantastic.
ABI: Describe the ways that you sell your work.
AD: When I left school I didn’t a have a clue how to sell my work, it just wasn’t covered at my school, so I have learned by stumbling along since I graduated in 2000. I have found over the years that a three-pronged approach to selling works best for me.
Very roughly, 45% gallery representation, 20% online sales (through Etsy, Folksy, Facebook and Instagram) and 35% face to face sales, either at fairs or my open studio sales. I find that this works best for me because it allows me more time to be making in the studio when I have the time away from my day job to be in the studio.
ABI: How do you balance your work as an artist with a regular job?
AD: I’m not sure if I have found the balance yet, or if balance actually exists in this area of life. I think the feeling of balance comes mainly in being able to be flexible depending on the needs of myself, my family, my day job & my studio work.
I work as a therapist for children and young people in the care system full-time, in four days a week which leaves the one weekday in the studio and the time I can squirrel away during evenings and weekends. I have discovered since moving to Scotland how crucial it is to stay in touch with my creative side, so I try not to put too much pressure on the studio with deadlines, etc. I suppose that could be considered balance just now.
If you were to ask me in a few months when the 3 Harbours Arts Festival is on and I’m sure I will tell you something totally different!