Courtney Murphy – Red Lodge Clay Center

Courtney MurphyMissoula, Montana

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Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2012

Courtney first began working with clay while living in Brooklyn, NY. After several years of working for potters around the city, she moved to Portland to study Ceramics at Oregon College of Art & Craft. In 2009 she came to Montana where she completed a two year artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena. After a short term residency at Red Lodge Clay Center, and a long term residency at the Clay Studio of Missoula, she decided to settle in Missoula where she recently finished building a home studio.

Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, and has been featured in books and magazines including American Craft and Ceramics Monthly. In 2011 she was chosen as an emerging artist by Ceramics Monthly. Her designs are influenced by simplified abstractions of nature, children’s artwork, folk art, mid-century modern forms and shapes, as well as patterns and textiles. She is compelled by the variation found in handmade objects and likes the personal connection that they help to create as they leave her studio to become part of somebody‚Äôs daily routine.

My designs are influenced by simplified abstractions of nature, children’s artwork, folk art, mid-century modern forms and shapes, as well as many books on ceramics and design.

I am intrigued by the variation and imperfections found in hand-made objects, and the ways in which these marks reflect the maker of the piece. A slight change in the profile or image on a cup determines whether a person will be drawn to one over another. It is interesting when a particular object speaks to me, and I decide that I’d like to have it in my life.

I love creating functional work because of the personal connection created when they leave my studio to become a part of somebody else’s daily routine. When I look in my kitchen cabinets, I’m reminded of all of the people I have met over the past few years. It’s nice to have these personal objects preserve the memories of places I have been and people I have met.