I had the opportunity to collaborate again with one of my favorite groups of artists, r.wood studio ceramics. Rebecca Wood founded her studio here in Athens 25 years ago, and she is truly an anchor of the creative community that is so vibrant in this town. Taken from her site, here is a bit of history of her work and how the studio took root and began to flourish:
Rebecca came to Athens, Georgia in 1975, during the art/music heyday that produced so many bands and talented artists. She completed her art degree in drawing and painting in 1977 and stayed on in Athens, soaking up the exciting brew of ideas and creativity. She spent the next ten years painting still lifes in oil, selling most of the pieces she made. However, a stock market downturn during a solo exhibit in 1987 convinced her it was time to diversify. Soon she began designing and painting furniture, jewelry, fabric, and other household items. She took a china painting class because she'd always had a vision of selling hand painted tea pots at Neiman Marcus. After realizing the fragility of the paints on china, she decided to make her own plates and use colored glazes. A friend bought her a used kiln at a yard sale for $200. Rebecca ordered some clay and glazes, got out a rolling pin, and with no knowledge of pottery, started rolling out circles of clay. Some of her first plates she threw in a suitcase with her samples of hand painted velveteens and hats, and went to New York to meet the buyers at Barney's and Zona, the trendiest boutique in town. The buyer for Zona's japan store abruptly left the room, but returned soon after with an order pad, where she wrote out an order for $1500 dollars worth of plates. Rebecca was stunned, and R.Wood Studio was born. Fast forward to now. R.wood Studio is 25 years old, and one of the largest pottery studios in America. Rebecca proudly employs 8 artists who oversee the workings of the studio, leaving Rebecca time to pursue her creative interests. Besides creating her one of a kind ceramics, Rebecca is also one of the photographers behind the blog, and book, Beauty Everyday. It represents a pictorial and poetic love affair with southern beauty. She also has a blog called 'southernshacks.com', where she documents the beauty of old homesteads and rural structures. She is often found in the garden or the woods, studying nature in all it's expressions. Through pictures and drawings she studies the beauty in our world. These drawings and photographs inform all of her works, whether ceramics, sewing, gardening, or any other creative exploration! Beauty Everyday!
Rebecca is one of many women that have inspired and influenced me since moving to Athens in 2009, and her pieces are some of my most treasured items in my home. She is among the many talented women featured in Grace Bonney's book 'In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs' , and collaborates with fellow Athens artists (and women who I also draw inspiration from) Rinne Allen and Kristen Bach on their project Beauty Everyday. Athens has a rich presence of talented folks who share and influence the world with their craft, and I consider living here to be a gift. My hope with these photographs was to show the simple, yet artful and delicate shape of the pieces, and the way that the shapes converse with each other in situ. I chose a neutral color palette, simply out of my own aesthetic preference, but the range of shapes and colors that r.wood offers is eclectic and dynamic. The pieces grace my dining table on a daily basis, and while I love their appearance in itself, making use of them in daily life makes each occasion artful and full of meaning.