Stacy Snyder is currently working in Philadelphia as well as at her home in Virginia. She makes functional salt-fired pottery with architectural aspects. Her studio and showroom are located on the outskirts of Blacksburg in Ellett Valley, near the site of the old Yellow Sulphur Springs Hotel.
Each pot seeks its own place. The place found where a cup sits on a saucer, within a family of bowls, the horizon and visual landscape of a line of bottles, or on one’s kitchen table. The boundaries of such places are both defined by and broken by a familiarity; one that is taken by what we understand and intrigued by what we do not. Function and relationships play roles in creating a sense of the familiar, that work to invite use and understanding. Coffee finds its way easily into a cup that is simple and comfortable. Within the relationships of the pots to one another, a dynamic is built that clearly describes a footprint for where one pot should go; on the saucer, in the larger bowl, next to the similar form. There can also be found a familiarity in the landscapes that these series or sets of pots create that is similar to a group of buildings on a horizon. The best pots are simple and comfortable, yet mysterious and inviting, and each time one returns to them there is a discovery of something new and never seen before.
I am inspired by the landscapes that surround me and by the home that the Blue Ridge Mountains make for me. The silos, corncribs, wooden barns, and structures that gravity has begun to take hold of influence my forms, spaces and the relationships of the pots to one another. The glazing and patterns are derived from old tools and axes, the bold lines of a plowed field, or a weathering wall. Color brings each piece to life, beginning with the color of grass in the winter time and bringing to it a cardinal or redbud in bloom. Texture and color contrast play into the relationships of the forms themselves; working to pull them together by defining each as much as by what it is as by what it is not.
I hope to direct the pots to find an intimacy with a moment; the moment of touch, frozen in time by the heat of the kiln or the moment of use. I would like to make pots to enter into a person’s life and to heighten an awareness of time to elevate an experience of place. Functional pots have the ability to be a part of the home in an intimate way; adding a sense of character and a sense of individuality. Pots can participate in and affect their environment, transforming an afternoon tea into a ritual or remembered experience. We live in a society where convenience often weighs more important than experience. A quest for convenience has also contributed to a loss of not only our experience of daily life but also to the experience of our surroundings. It is my hope that each pot brings its own unique experience to the user and offers a moment of reflection and joy to the simple experiences of drinking coffee or serving mashed potatoes.