Barb Francis | My Story
I have had a lifelong love for clay. As a child I took classes at the local art center. I grew up in Kalamazoo Michigan where the woods were my playground, leaves became dishes, tree branches were our brooms, and mud was our pie. I have always loved the beauty and intricacies of the natural world.
I received a BA from Hope College in Holland Michigan with a major in Psychology. By my senior year I had finished all my major requirements and spent my last year in the pottery studio. I was hooked. I decided to get a master’s degree in Blind Rehab thinking I could use my interest in both psychology and art and worked in that field for about 7 years.
In the meantime I continued taking classes in pottery, first at the Kalamazoo Art Center, then at the Albany Ceramic Institute in Albany, NY, followed by other art centers and community colleges in New York and Texas.
I love the creative process of working with clay. I began doing mostly wheel work but enjoy hand building more each year. I texture nearly everything, either by carving on a piece, rolling texture in the clay, or adding sprigs to my work. I am always looking for texture in my environment – sometimes outside, at estate sales, around my house, or out shopping. It changes the way I view my world. I have always been a doodler and often incorporate those designs in my pottery.
My specialty is creating cut rim bowls which are first thrown, then trimmed. At leather hard, I cut the rim and begin carving and piercing the work. After bisque firing, these bowls are hand painted.