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Artist: Holly Walker


Holly Walker, VERMONT
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My pots are hand built, pinching up each layer of rolled coil to build form. Pinching is a slow, rhythmic process that allows time to envision a piece while working. I enjoy the directness of touch with pinching, and the quality of light on the dimpled surface. 

My first studio pursuit was in painting, and I continue to be inspired by both contemporary and historical paintings. I approach the surface of a pot as a painter, brushing colored slips over the raw terra cotta surface, layering multiple glazes after bisquing. When looking at a finished piece, I like to see back through the layers to the beginning of the process. I aim for the speed, the pulse, and the tempo of making to be revealed in the pot. Throughout my thirty-eight years of working with clay, I have tended to work intuitively, encouraging a great deal of collaboration with the clay. Experiencing the clay as a living material keeps each piece fresh for me.

Why earthenware? The physicality of earthenware clay - the image of it eroding and tumbling, washing and settling with organic matter appeals to my poetic nature. Earthenware is the common clay- its ubiquitous nature means that it is nearly always nearby or underfoot. The red brown of terra cotta clay provides a rich, warm hued base for layering colored slips, and lends itself to an extraordinary palette of glaze color. Earthenware clay remains open; it can still breathe when fired.



Studio potter 1979 to present.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME. New Works- retreat, fall, 2012.

Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME, Funded Residency, 2012, 2007, 1996.

Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC, Educational Outreach Coordinator 1997 to 2000.

Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Edgecomb, ME, Executive Director 1990-1995.

Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT, 1982.


MFA Ceramics, minor in painting, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. 1990.

BFA Painting, Ohio University, Athens, OH. Magna cum laude. 1974.


MFA Ceramics, minor in painting, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. 1990.

BFA Painting, Ohio University, Athens, OH. Magna cum laude. 1974.


Frog Hollow Vermont Craft Association Artisan Grant Program, 2016 recipient.

Vermont Art Council development grant, 2010.


Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, MA. Workshop, August 2017.

Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN. Invited lecturer, along with Liz Quackenbush, in conjunction with eight-person collaborative exhibit, fall, 2013.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME. “The Sensory Language of the Hand” Summer Instructor, 2012.

University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. Visiting Artist two-day workshop, fall, 2011.

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. Critic in department of Ceramics to co-teach “Clay in Context” with Linda Sormin, spring, 2011.


TRAX Gallery, Berkeley, CA. Fall 2017 exhibit.

Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC. Solo Exhibit, Focus Gallery “Abecedarium”, summer, 2017.

Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester, MA. “Pottery Invitational V1II” weekend-long forum and pottery exhibition of 22 New England potters, spring, 2013-2016.

National Conference of Education in the Ceramic Arts, Kansas City, MO. “La Mesa” Santa Fe Clay invitational exhibition, winter 2005-2016.

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. “Eight Fluid Ounces”. Curated by Ayumi Horie, winter, 2016.

LUX Center for the Arts, Lincoln NE. Solo exhibit, Folsom Gallery, December, 2015.

Signature Gallery, Atlanta, GA. “Mazurka” Invited solo wall exhibitor, Winter, 2014.

Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN. “Exquisite Pots II: Red Handed”. An exhibit covering a nine-month period of collaboration between eight earthenware artists: Jason Bige Burnett, Marc Digeros, Ursula Hargens, Lisa Orr, Joseph Pintz, Liz Quackenbush, Pete Scherzer, and Holly Walker, Fall, 2013.


John Bullard Collection, 2016.

David and Louise Rosenfeld Collection, Dallas, TX, 2016.

Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR. Juror, Ayumi Horie, 2013.

San Angelo Museum of Fine arts, San Angelo, TX.


“Inspired: Life in Penland’s Resident Artist and Core Fellowship Programs”, Deborah Morgenthal, writer, Ele Annand, art director. Featured artist, images and interview. 2016.

“Graphic Clay”, Sterling Publishing Co, Inc. Jason Bige Burnett, 2015. Two images.

“Glaze: The Ultimate Ceramic Artist’s Guide to Glaze and Color”, Brian Taylor and Kate Doody, Querto Books, Querto Publishing, London, December, 2014 Image and caption, p. 63.

“American iPottery” an upcoming digital book for the iPad by Kevin A. Hluch, 2014.

Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN. “Exquisite Pots II: Red Handed” catalog, fall, 2013. Curated by NCC Exhibitions Committee, Essay by Mark Pharis.

Ceramics Monthly, October 2013 issue, “Exposure” gallery as part of Exquisite Pots 11: Red Handed” exhibit at Northern Clay Center, Two images, page 19.

The Studio Potter, Summer/Fall issue, 2010. Co-Author with Linda Casbon of “Visual Translations: relationships between drawing and form”.

Masters Earthenware, Lark Books-Sterling Publishing Company, New York, NY. Juror: Matthias Ostermann, 2009. Featured artist with eight-page spread. Text, quotations, and photographs.

500 Platters, Plates, and Chargers, Lark Books-Sterling Publishing Company, New York, NY. Juror: Linda Arbuckle, 2008.

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