“[Handbuilding] creates forms that are often soft, asymmetrical, and imperfect, all qualities I appreciate.”
Naomi Johnson has experienced the natural beauty of America first-hand. She grew up by the sea in Northern California, then lived in an adobe house filled with art and artists in the high desert of Northern New Mexico. Today, she makes her home among the forests and waterfalls of Southern Appalachia, in a little green cottage in Asheville, North Carolina where she and her husband both make ceramics. Naomi works with porcelain clay, prized for its naturally warm white color and translucence, and uses a variety of handbuilding techniques including pinching, coiling, and slab building. “Handbuilding has a peaceful, meditative slowness to it," she says. "It creates forms that are often soft, asymmetrical, and imperfect, all qualities I appreciate." Pinch pots like the bells she creates were the first clay vessels made, dating back to prehistoric times. "I find it a satisfyingly elemental process, and each piece emerges with its own unique personality," Naomi adds.