"Where's Briggs Shore?" "I'm right here!"
Yep, Briggs Shore is my real name! A family heirloom that I resented as a child, but now I feel really fits my creative personality. I grew up on a farm in Iowa. People who haven't been there think Iowa is flat and boring, but I'm a huge fan of my home state. It's beautiful and diverse. It's full of rolling hills, delicious food, and friendly people, and I miss the humid summers and far away horizons.
I got an Interior Design degree from Iowa State in 2007. I learned to make pots in high school, but focused my creative drive on a number of other outlets through college. Once I graduated, I treated my love of clay as a hobby for the next several years while I worked for an environmentally friendly home improvement store, managed a Permaculture design non-profit, designed and built a few buildings out of natural materials, taught myself graphic design, and waited tables to fill in the gaps. I started taking clay seriously in 2015 when a friend encouraged me to participate in a pop-up craft show.
Since then, I've been spending as much time as humanly possible in the studio. I've been fortunate to participate in residencies and assistantships that have taught me a lot about the kind of artist I do and don't want to be. In 2016 I moved to Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, and at the beginning of 2020 I opened my very own studio in Coupeville. The timing couldn't have been worse, but I'm determined to make it work.
In my spare time I play a lot of board and roll playing games, and take a lot of walks on the beaches and woodland paths of this beautiful place. I also eat a lot of delicious food, which is easy when your partner is a baker and you're a part of one of the best restaurant communities in the Pacific Northwest. I feel fortunate to have found such a supportive community in such a beautiful part of the country.
About my pottery:
Aesthetically: My style is somewhere between Midcentury Modern, Scandinavian, and Contemporary West Coast. I offer work that from far away might look machine made, but up close you can see the ridges where my fingers pulled up the walls, the slight wobble in the lines that I inlaid by hand, and the unique curve of the individually molded handle of your new favorite mug.
Because my background is in design and not fine art, my instinct in the studio is to make a useful set of dishes rather than pieces of art you hesitate to pick up. All my work is durable enough to use every day. You can put them in the dishwasher or microwave. Although they are handmade, they behave and can be used just like any ceramic dishes you may have in your home now.
Technically: All my work is wheel thrown, and hand decorated. I'm using Laguna's ^5 Frost Porcelain, which is a fussy clay body but gives me the bright white color, translucency, and smooth texture that I love. I use colored slip to decorate my work. The different colors are created using the same clay body with added colorants, or with commercially available underglaze. Everything is fired to ^6 (about 2200º) in an electric kiln.
About my community:
I give 5% of my profits to a local organization. It isn't the only thing I do, but it's the easiest to define and measure; and the easiest to ask you to help out with. In October 2020 I'm giving to the North Whidbey Help House. In the past I've given to: CADA, The Trevor Project, and The Northwest Community Bail Fund.