Patti Connor Greene

What fuels creative work? My sparks come from the wild: wild meaning nature; wild meaning unplanned, uncontrolled, unconscious.

I worked mostly with stoneware clay until 2009, when I shifted to porcelain. It was only in retrospect that I realized that it was Avery County’s ice, snow, and rivers that pulled me to the luminosity of porcelain and a palette of glazes referencing the quality of light in these mountains.

My “Dreamscape” series evolved from a six-week camping trip to the Yukon and Alaska in 2013: recurring images of a tiny house in the midst of immense, untamed nature. So after 40 years of making vases, bowls, and mugs on a kickwheel, I began handbuilding porcelain sculptural pieces of a tiny cabin in the wild, pressing small bits of porcelain together face-down so I could smooth the back and join the pieces together. The completed scene is always a surprise, revealed when I turn the piece over the next morning, so I call the series “Dreamscapes.”

What pulls me into my studio every morning: surprises and challenges. I spray, spritz, and layer glazes, experimenting so that every piece is different and every kiln opening is full of surprises. And challenges: that’s where teapots come in, the challenge of making a complex form that works well, aesthetically and functionally.

I am currently celebrating three milestones: my 60th birthday, 40 years of working in clay, and 30 years with my soulmate, Dan Greene. I am deeply grateful for this wild and glorious ride of life, love, and clay, and for dear friends and family who nurture and share creative sparks along the way.