About Gertrude Graham Smith

Gertrude Graham Smith, nicknamed Gay, is a studio potter and teaching artist. She’s been single firing porcelain ware in a soda kiln since 1993. She has held artist-in-residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana and at Penland School in Penland, North Carolina. Her teaching credits include workshops at Penland, Haystack, Harvard, and Findhorn, Scotland. Her work is in collections including the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taiwan. Gay has appeared in numerous publications such as Making Marks and Functional Pottery by Robin Hopper, and Working with Clay by Susan Peterson, and on the cover of Ceramics Monthly magazine. Grant awards include a North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship and Regional Artist Project Grants. She’s served on boards of North Carolina Pottery Center and Penland School of Crafts.

Artist Statement

I’m looking to make extraordinary pots for ordinary use, enjoyed every day. I make pots on the wheel that celebrate the responsiveness of porcelain clay to spontaneous, yet thoughtful, manipulation of soft form and surface, and to the flames of my soda kiln that create vibrant colors leaving luscious marks on anticipated edges.

I imagine my work to be a blend between my grandmother’s elegant holiday settings and a Walt Disney cartoon when the tableware jumps up and swirls in dance. Sturdy and strong the pots will stand up well stacked in cupboards and dish racks.

All my work is made with love, sent forth with blessings. In my imagination, we live in a world where compassion arises in the heart when a hand grasps the handle of a mug.


Instagram: @gertrudegrahamsmith

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