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Vendor Spotlight: Jeffrey Ryan May Pottery

How would you describe your style?  Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to? 
I still look up to some of the big ceramic artists, Tom Coleman, Matt Long, Tom Turner, John Britt, and Frank Massarella, who taught me.  I feel as if my style in an amalgamation of how their work inspires and intrigues me.  With each session of production I feel as if my work becomes more and more refined.  I love to pair that refining process with new shapes, new glazes, and new design ideas.

What is your creative process like?
There are two distinctive processes that provide me with a nice creative flow.  Music and/or podcasts can inspire me any number of ways.  It allows me to concentrate with a tempo or rhythm.  They other process is silence which allows me to focus solely on feeling of being centered. 

What's the coolest artistic tip you've ever received? 
You have to have the ‘fire’ inside you to be serious about being a professional potter.

What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own? 
I feel as if I have a relationship with the clay I use.  When you've thrown hundreds, thousands of the same or similar shapes, there is an intuitive representation of form.  Over a few years I've refined every minute detail within the process.  My work is unique in the very fact that my hands create every individual piece, every handle, etc.  I love creating work with passion and I believe the attention to detail enriches each piece. 


What sort of things inspire you?  Where do you look for inspiration? 
Looking at what other artists are creating is a good source of inspiration.  For design, I like to imagine what would enhance certain experiences involving clay.  Colors and shapes depending on any particular kind of salad, shape and thickness of a ramen bowl, the perfect coffee mug for a very specific set of hands, a properly constructed fermentation jar.  

I feel most creative in the early morning.  Waking up early gives me a sense of isolation, you don't tend to hear cars, or people walking around.  This solitude allows creativity to be uninterrupted as the repetition of throwing inspires rhythm and flow.   

More about me on my website:      Which has links to other sites with more information.