Pottery at Play

Form and creativity with Jodee Adams

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jodee Adams wasn’t born in Bellingham, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t belong here. We caught up with the 31-year-old potter and painter to ask her a few questions before she joins a roster of other area artists to show and sell work at the Holiday Make.Sale happening Sat., Dec. 14 at Make.Shift Art Space.

Cascadia Weekly: Where do you make your art?
Jodee Adams: I work out of the basement that I rent—there’s a mud room for my pottery—and fire the pieces at Persis Gayle’s Frailey Mountain Pottery in Arlington.

CW: Where does your love of pottery come from?
JA: I’ve always enjoyed drawing and doing art, and had ceramics at my public high school. I didn’t have it in college, though, and, one Christmas, asked my mom for classes. From that point on, I was pretty obsessed.

CW: The luminary owls you make are very cool. What’s the story behind those?
JA: I’ve been making those for three or four years, since the Lucky Dumpster in Edison had an open call for artists, with a Russian nesting doll theme. Their shapes looked so much like owls. It took off from there.

CW: They’re one of your bestsellers. Are you tired of making them yet?
JA:No. It’s been been good having something that’s forced me to stick with an idea for a long time. I’m into it now. I’m refining, and getting more efficient. I’ve probably made 200 by this point.

CW: You’ve been in Bellingham for more than a year. What’s so great about living here?
JA: I grew up in Bellevue, and have slowly worked my way north from Seattle. This will be home base for a while. I love the social stimulus here, the artistic support—and Casa Que Pasa. I’m also a trail runner, and live right up against Galbraith, so I don’t have to travel far to be in cool forests.

CW: Have you taken part in the Make.Shift holiday sale before?
JA: Yes, this will be my second year. It’s great; it’s really fun to be around other Bellingham artists, and it’s a pretty relaxing environment. It’s not a bad place to spend the day.

CW: What do you hope people get out of your art?
JA: I like making utilitarian objects—like coffee mugs—that can be used every day. It means I can infiltrate people’s lives more. I like being part of a daily ritual through art. Simple things give me pleasure, and that was what attracted me to pottery initially.

CW: I’ve noticed that with your pieces—your mugs, monster heads, and even the owls—that every piece is unique. Is that on purpose?
JA: Every piece is very different. I don’t want to get bored with the process. I like to allow for the work to evolve, and it works better if I approach it more open-mindedly. It’s all about trying to keep it fresh.

CW: You work at the Skagit Valley Co-op on a part-time basis, but also have time for your art. Do you hope to make your living with your creativity someday?
JA: I wouldn’t be a potter if I was trying to get rich. It’s fun. I can make it a little of my livelihood. Right now, there are a lot of times when I basically get to play with Play-Doh all day. I love that.

For more info about Adams’ work, go to http://www.batcavepottery.weebly.com

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