Whitney Smith

"My goal as an artist is simple: to make items that are functional, absolutely beautiful, and a part of everyday life. The more we experience beauty, the more we can tune in to its frequency and see it all around us, every day, in places we never thought we could find it."

The turned edge of a flower petal. The ridges of a poppy seedpod. The vein structure of a leaf. Details like these inspire Whitney Smith. In a style evoking early 20th-century Arts and Crafts pottery, her ceramic pieces capture the beauty and function inherent in nature.

Smith throws each piece on the wheel, then carves and scrapes the surface for effect. When she wants to make a raised design, she draws on the pot with an eyedropper filled with slip, a technique called slip trailing.

Smith's relationship with clay began in 1994 with her first wheel-throwing class at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. She had an instant rapport with clay, and she spent her first years as a potter single-mindedly pursuing a mastery and understanding of her new love. Since 2000, she has been a full-time ceramic artists creating work in her California studio.