Lark Roderigues Pottery

American Made Since 1974

Lark Roderigues

Portsmouth , Rhode Island
I started making pottery in 10th grade in high school when a handsome student teacher handed me a ball of clay and pointed the old potters wheel
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Tell us about your business.

I have been making pottery for over 30 years and have loved every minute of it! It combines my love of gardening , antiques, and art. I worked in a topiary garden after graduating from art school and the "marriage" of pottery and gardening took place then. I converted a pig barn in my yard at my farm into a studio and have a small walk across my yard to start a day of making pottery. I joke that on the way, the flowers yell "pick ME" to bring in and sculpt. Each piece is thrown by hand on the wheel and then I add the flowers , leaves and bugs. For 30 years I drove old vans to art festivals with the best saleswoman you would ever meet, my Mom. If she left the show for a minute everyone would ask where she was? I am extremely lucky to have such loyal collectors who show up to build their collections, adding cabbage roses, violets, and magnolias to vases, bowls, flatware, and more! I believe that my work picked me, from the minute I started the flowers almost sculpted themselves.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

When I was in art school I rented a small apartment in a old farmhouse, four years later I bought it....then I bought a small part of the "farm" 4 years after that,and after that I bought the field that went with my house. Every pottery show was a small bit going towards "my farm". The house built in 1750 was restored, and the pig barn was renovated once in the 90's and again made larger in 2010. The house was turned into a one family again for family gatherings and parties and the gardens grew! My studio is visitor friendly but by all means a artist workspace, it faces the field that is part of the "Rhody fresh" milk program , farmed with cow corn by a farmer up the street for his cows.

What inspires you?

It's such a cleashay that I hate to say it......but really nature is what inspires me.It's so pretty and can be so gnarly at the same time. I love when the flower is a bud..and when it's the flower opens and is hanging on the last day. I try to capture those stages in my work. That and other people inspire me. My parents in their 80's going to work, and when I see how much of themselves people put into their work, teachers, nurses, and most all jobs , that inspires me. I appreciate that I have a great place to work and a job that I can barely call a job really, it's more like playing. If I did not get paid to do it, I would gladly pay to do it!

What makes your business stand out?

Personalized attention to detail. Detail to the shape , design, and creating of the pottery. Some would say I'm controlling with my work but in the end I think people can tell that the details make it special. What makes my work stand out is it has an old world feel to it with a twist that shows it was made now. People say they recognize it and know it's mine , I guess I would say that although it is based on antique pottery it also has a look of today.

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

Make time to be creative. Nurture your creativity . Give it importance and time. Make time for it, enjoy it and cherish it. If you are to busy doing other things the creativity will not be used and it fades away. Always keep your supplies handy, and in an hour or two you can get a lot done. The time flies when your creative and making work so value it. When your happy making crafts or art, or soup, or growing something it shows. It radiates from you and your work and people feel it, it's the most appealing sales tool you have, the joy of doing something creative. Always represent yourself and your art as one . It's part of you so be proud of it, humble and modest but proud.

What does American Made mean to you?

I look back at "American Made" to look ahead at American made. Americans have a short strong history of fine crafts. To me, American made means following in tradition of potters and ceramic artist I admire. The potters wheel is almost a lost art. When I was a kid I went to Plymouth rock , it was there in one of those reenactment rooms that a potter was throwing pots on the wheel. I was board by Plymouth rock...but the pottery "rocked my world"! I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen! Making a bowl out of a ball of mud! The process is long and at times backbreaking, it could be done simpler ways by using molds and "jiggers" but I love staying true to pottery made in the old style. I feel it is honest hand made, not factory made to look handmade. Each piece is made from scratch and hand thrown , sculpted, and painted and then fired several times. To me that's part of American made. I want to be proud of the pottery and proud that it is made in America.

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