A Brief Biography

At age twenty-one, after living a sheltered life in Lima, Peru, I decided to go to Europe to study jewelry design. My parents supported me in what seemed a promising and exciting career in the art field in Rome, Italy. For a year, I lived abroad learning metalsmithing. My my school closed for an undetermined length of time, and disappointed, I traveled to Africa where I had some very interesting experiences but none enhanced my knowledge of jewelry design.

In 1968 I married an American national and moved to the US. I am now an American citizen and proud of it! I have two children and four wonderful grand children. I married my second husband, Charles 20 years ago. We live in a lovely wooded setting in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I have my studio.

I started making pottery, about 40 years ago and was later introduced to Raku firing. I fell in love with it. For a period of 4 years I avidly worked sculpting clay and making Raku pots . I combined coils, pinching and the stone and wooden slab methods to build my pots; I used the wheel only for glaze testing. My designs were inspired by symbols, pottery and jewelry of the past. I like to incorporate textiles and small individually fired pieces to my work.

Besides the enjoyment I get from creating designs in pottery, the main purpose of my work is to communicate some of my feelings and thought processes. In my early work I used the symbols for life, the elements, eternity, alchemy and other arcane concepts because they comprise ideas that I needed to translate into clay.

Working with my hands is a most rewarding and meditative process. I am grateful for the opportunity to work at a home studio in the most pleasant and quiet surroundings and with people and creations I love. In the year 2000 I undertook the enjoyable task of hand painting silk yardage. I sold yardage to designers and later saw the transformation of my work into beautiful dresses designed by them. I also created whimsical spirit dolls. The latter was an effort to combine my clay sculpting skills with the silk material created by me.

In 2002 my interest in the human form led me to lifecasting. Although the technique I used made an accurate impression of the human body it offers countless possibilities for the manipulation of form. I have done extensive research, cast many molds, and experimented with paints and finishes. Unfortunately, I have not found other local artists working in the same field and found myself isolated in this craft.

My interest migrated to glass flameworking and for the past few years I have been involved in making glass beads and designing my own jewelry. This makes a complete circle returning to my original “jewelry design” interest!

Today I am experimenting with combining glass with clay. I will soon post these works and the ideas backing them up.

Thanks for your interest in my web page. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Angela Smith

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