Ceramist Whitney Smith fell in love with throwing clay one prophetic afternoon in 1994 when undertaking her first basic pottery class in Santa Cruz, CA. As an undergraduate student studying anthropology at the University of California, she soon found herself pursuing independent pottery studies every chance she could. Smith carved a small studio in her garage and sought out an apprenticeship, assisting local potter Sandi Dihl. When it came to deciding between graduate studies in anthropology and taking her artistry further, she chose clay.
Smith took her passion to San Francisco, where she developed her work, while continuing to apprentice, this time, under artist Bob Pool. As 2000 approached, Smith rallied support from friends, family and clients--and finally made the transition into a full time potter, launching her ceramics studio in early 2000.
Inspired by painting and other two-dimensional work, Smith begins her work by throwing clay on a potter's wheel, then carves texture onto its finished shape.
"My design sense is primarily informed by my obsession with flowers and other forms found in nature," says Smith. "I like the look and feel of old things and antiques, and my glaze choices have a certain look that reminds people of a different era. I try to emulate the craftsmanship of an earlier time."