Sylvia Coppala

Date: 04/02/2019
Location: NCSU Craft Center
Time: 7:00 pm

Sylvia Coppola writes: In the mid seventies, while in college at Western Carolina University, I took my first pottery class. I continued with clay classes and enjoyed it so much that I decide to concentrate in pottery with a second concentration in jewelry. After graduating with a BFA degree, I bought a wheel and kiln and continued to make pots. I also loved weaving and basketry and for several years sold all four crafts. Eventually, clay took over and there was little time for other crafts. Since beginning in clay, my work has evolved. I started off in college with reduction firing in a gas kiln, carving designs on pots and using Asian brush strokes. Then I moved on to mid range firing in an electric kiln. Early on, I did a lot of layering of glazes and experimenting with the results of one glaze over another. Then I went on to do a lot of hand painting with underglazes. I painted a lot of irises, and other flowered motifs. After several years of this I moved on to carving bands of lines, fish, or rabbits on my pottery. In April of 2004, I purchased a gas kiln made by Larry Fincannon of Sure Fire Mfg. and again started making high fired reduction pottery. I changed my glazes and my pottery designs. When I make a pot on the wheel, I often alter the form to create a more interesting piece. After it dries to almost leather hard, I use different tools, some of which I made, to carve into the clay and add textures to the outside of the pot. Textures have always been of interest to me, which may partially be related to my past work as a weaver and basket maker. My current approach to making pottery is to emphasize handles and feet on the pots and how they relate to the form. The use of handles and feet create a totally different mood for the piece. In addition to the many hours I spend making pottery, I also teach workshops several times a year. Hand Building, Making Tea Pots and Pitchers, Throwing and Altering, Marketing Your Art Work, and Basic Glaze Mixing, are some of the topics taught at the workshops. I have taught workshops at Duck Creek Pottery, Red Sky Gallery, Mint Hill Arts, Pottery 51, Rising Sun Pottery in Lincolnton, NC, Wild Acres in Little Switzerland, NC and John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. Check my Upcoming Events page for any upcoming workshops. It is most important for an artist to enjoy the work that she spends so many hours planning and creating. The pleasure of creating is pronounced in the work of art.