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Rebecca Lowery

“I often say I want the pottery to feel like it’s going to get up and walk away, which inevitably causes patrons to smile or even laugh out loud.”

“My primary focus is form with function,” says potter Rebecca Lowery, but it appears her primary mission is a smile or a laugh from those who see and buy her unique work.

A budding psychologist, Rebecca left high school in Dalton, Georgia, for Berea College, in Kentucky, a non-tuition school where every student works for the college to offset costs. “On the application to Berea, there are questions asking about skill sets. I proudly checked “Yes” to pottery after one successful high school art class experience, and lo and behold, I was placed in the apprenticeship pottery program.”

From her first weeks as a college freshman, Rebecca was trained to make pottery to sell to the public for the school. “I had intended to become a psychologist,” she said, “but after a year in the apprenticeship program, I made my decision to pursue art as my career.” That was more than 25 years ago.

Rebecca moved to Bloomington and joined its Local Clay Potters Guild, meeting and working alongside many talented potters, including Indiana Artisans Jan Arbogast and Kris Busch. Of her work today, she says, “I create whimsical functional pottery through the use of a potter’s wheel, simple tools and my hands. I throw most pieces on the wheel and add texture, buttons and color for a bit of life. I mix my own glazes, and that gives my work a unique finish.”

A full-time clay artist, Rebecca says she creates pottery to be used, and also to be loved, and when you see her work, you understand that immediately. “I want my patrons to have a direct connection with the work they buy,” she says. “I often say I want the pottery to feel like it’s going to get up and walk away, which inevitably causes patrons to smile or even laugh out loud.”

Perhaps best defining her very unique design, Rebecca said, “I also want the user to experience the long-gone feeling of magic from childhood. I often have customers tell me that just looking at my work makes them smile. What more can an inanimate object do besides function, but to make them happy?”

Through juried exhibitions in Las Vegas, Baltimore and Houston, and numerous juried festivals in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, and Indiana – and that’s just last year – Rebecca also has earned Best Booth Design, Best of Show, 2nd Best of Show, and First Place in Ceramics awards in art and clay-focused shows in the last two years.

And now the State has recognized her as an Indiana Artisan. “That is a wonderful way to connect to new patrons,” she said. “It signifies that I am a respected artist in my field and immediately indicates that I am a qualified professional artist without even having to see my work.”

The light-heartedness of her design has for years signaled to pottery and art lovers that Rebecca enjoys her work. “I love what I do,” she says, “and I hope to be able to do it for a long time. What makes my work authentic and original is that, after 25 years, I have developed my own style and glazes that are unique to me. I instill a bit of my own personality into each piece, and what I love about making my work is the fun of it all.” Her work exemplifies that, and so does her smile as she says it.