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Ready to Serve: Tara Wilson

Ready to Serve: Tara Wilson

Ready to Serve: Tara Wilson

February/March 2014 issue of American Craft magazine
Author Staff
Mediums Furniture
Tableware by Tara Wilson

Tableware by Tara Wilson. Photo: Mark LaFavor


Tara Wilson had her first turn at the potter’s wheel in high school, and she’s been a full-time potter since earning her MFA in 2003. Her style is derived from a combination of wheel throwing and alterations, and she fires her work in a wood kiln at her studio near Helena, Montana. Much of her work has an animated quality, borrowing from human and animal forms.

What drives you to make your work? 
I’ve always enjoyed using my hands to build and make things, and I feel an innate urge to be in the studio making, in order to maintain balance in my life.

What do you think is unique about what you make? 
The feminine, sensual quality that many of my pieces exhibit is unique for wood-fired ceramics.

How do you imagine your work being used? Do you have particular occasions in mind as you work? 
Some pieces, I imagine, are used on a daily basis, such as mugs, plates, and bowls. A lot of my more signature pieces, such as pitchers and baskets, I think, are used on special occasions.

What pot do you find yourself using most often in your own life? 
A handful of my favorite coffee mugs are definitely the go-to pots that get the most use. But I have so many favorite pots – a favorite cereal bowl, favorite soup bowl, favorite pasta plate, favorite salad plate, and so on. Usually what I’m eating or serving dictates quite specifically which pot to use.

Do you consider yourself an artist, a potter, or both? 
I consider myself both a potter and an artist, and feel they are interchangeable. I’m proud to be a potter.

Read the rest of our ceramic tableware feature.