Emily Free WilsonGardiner, Oregon

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Emily Free Wilson is a ceramic artist and entrepreneur in Helena, Montana. She currently runs her pottery business Free Ceramics and the Studio Art Center, with her husband Matt Wilson. In 2014, Emily and Matt purchased an old funeral home and have converted into an art center that is home for Free Ceramics and hosts community events, art classes and private studios. In 2015 Emily retired from 10 years as the gallery director at the Archie Bray Foundation.

Emily was born in Anchorage, Alaska and grew up in Roseburg, Oregon. She received her BFA at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she received an athletic scholarship for running and as an artist continued to receive grants for her ceramic work. Emily has also received grants from the Montana Arts Association and the Myrna Loy Art Center. Emily has been a visiting artist at Pottery Northwest and Jackson Art Association. Her work has been published in Ceramics Monthly, numerous ceramic books and has been featured across the United States in galleries including the Northern Clay Center, Red Lodge Clay Center and the Holter Museum of Art.

I need to make fun, happy, colorful things out of clay. This need to create and for those things to be shared with others, is inherent in who I am. Hand built pieces and functional pottery are created out of a mid range porcelain. The majority of my current work is done collaboratively through my pottery business Free Ceramics. Having my hands in both an artistic business and my own studio allows me to push my designs, ideas and challenge myself to keep evolving as an artist. Simple and inviting pots are made on a wheel or pinched out of large coils by hand and decorated with quick black lines and colorful dots. My imagination can turn images of rain, fireworks or candy into fun abstract designs that dance across the forms. I strive to make a beautiful and whimsical piece of art that makes you smile and is a joy to use.