Polly Whitcomb

First Name: 
Polly
Last Name: 
Whitcomb
Artist Medium: 
Clay
Artist Image: 
 Polly Whitcomb
Artist Statement: 
While not deliberately evoking the Southwest in my pottery, the style and colors took on a flavor of that area. Here, I am gradually shifting to softer colors and designs more resonant with this part of the country. I enjoy working with color, pattern, and texture, as well as playing with the form of a piece.

polly is a native Vermonter, but has lived a good part of her life elsewhere. Most recently in New Mexico, where she had a studio/gallery in Santa Fe and then in Ribera. In 2011 she moved back to Springfield Vermont, whereshe had a studio--The Clay Shaper--in part of a renovated factory building, the former Gear Shaper. For thirty years or so she has been a potter, using stoneware clays, usually thrown and altered. Often the pots are patterned using a wax-resist technique. Sometimes bits of masking tape are arranged on the pot and then removed after the glaze is applied, leaving a pattern. A range of blue and green glazes are used, which contrast with the sandy color of unglazed portions of the pot. Starting around 2006 when living in Ribera NM, she began collecting old objects that were lying around the landscape, and constructing assemblages. Drawing on the years of working with clay, she incorporate clay shapes with the metal, etc. adding color and interest. "I try to remain open to the possibilities of each thing I come across. From the heap of collected stuff I make a selection that combine with the clay pieces into a satisfying whole. Each completed piece is different and is partially determined by the nature of the 'find.' The process is a partnership between the elements chosen and what I bring to it. Some pieces fall into place with startling ease, and others need considerable fiddling and redoing. I find beauty in each of the found objects and delight in the contrasts and harmonies between them and he clay. I love the juxtaposition of deteriorating materials that are being eaten away by time and weather, and the seed-like new life of the clay forms."

Artist Town: 
Huntington