Artist Profile: Julie Spako

Potter Julie Spako offers a delightful line of ceramic work. We recently spoke with her about her small creative business.

 

Ceramics by Julie Spako. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  What inspires your hand painted ceramic line?

JS: In the beginning, my ceramic pieces were nostalgic for my grandmother’s blue and white Blue Willow dinnerware collection. I would spend a lot of time looking at the stories and patterns on the plates and serving pieces.

 

Ceramics by Julie Spako. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

I loved how a story could be conveyed on something you used every day for a very practical purpose. Although I did not realize it at the time, it was the beginning of how important beautiful objects for everyday use would become to me, both as an artist and as a collector of ceramics.

 

Ceramics by Julie Spako. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

My ceramics have evolved over time to include folk patterns from eastern Europe. I am fascinated by textiles, especially embroidery patterns. I strive to incorporate the same level of detail and complexity of design as those beautiful works of art. I am always amazed by the attention to detail that went into something as simple as a hand towel.

 

Ceramics by Julie Spako. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  Tell us about your materials and techniques.

JS:  I hand build my pieces out of high fire porcelain and dark brown stoneware. I fire to cone 10 oxidation at my home studio, where I have two kilns.

 

Ceramics by Julie Spako. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

I prefer hand building because the options for slight variations in form allows me to spend a lot of my time on the surface pattern. This helps keeps the overall structure of the pieces fairly simple in comparison to the design. I appreciate the simplicity of the form compared with the complexity of the hand-drawn, hand-painted glaze work.

 

Ceramics by Julie Spako. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

Most of my pieces are fired twice, but sometimes I incorporate gold luster which requires a third firing to a very low temperature.

 

Ceramics by Julie Spako. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  How are you selling your work?

JS:  Currently, I primarily wholesale my pieces to shops all over the United States. In the fall, I will also sell my work at arts and craft fairs in the Austin, Texas area.

 

 

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