Working with porcelain on a potter’s wheel, Linda Bowman produces functional pieces for the home. She states, “Handcrafted objects have always held my attention. Growing up in the mountains of Tennessee, I was introduced at an early age to artisan works. “
Linda dabbled in pottery in the early 70’s but chose to focus on her family and a career in social work. After 20 years, the gift of a potter’s wheel resulted in her setting up a studio, leaving her job and beginning her energizing journey of self-discover with clay.
Linda has chosen to work with a white porcelain clay, which allows her to use a wide variety of decorating methods, much like using a white canvas. She often uses the ‘sgraffito’ carving technique to decorate her work with patterns and imagery, and black slip brush work to add simple contrasting designs to compliment her colorful glazes.
Linda also sometimes works with only the bare porcelain itself. She stamps, folds, sculpts and trails patterns on the smooth white surfaces. In her hand-built pieces, she tries to allow the softness of the porcelain clay and her construction slab methods to remain evident in the finished works. Hand building with porcelain is very difficult as the clay body has very little physical strength until dry and fired.
Linda’s work is fired in an electric kiln to 2200 degrees. She is influenced by ancient cultures, especially the Ecuadorian people, who captured the images of animals and shapes in their world to add beauty to every day objects. “The idea that a piece of mine can be put to daily use and also be an object of beauty is both moving and profound. I like that connection of maker and user.”
Linda’s work can be found at the Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Louisville, KY; and at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.