Meet the Artist
About This Artist
Katie Meili Messersmith is an up-and-coming, adopted Chinese American potter. She meticulously details the surface of her work with slip-trailed dots, giving her functional & larger statement pieces an intricate & polished look. She uses symmetrical geometric dot patterns that leave viewers with a zen-like satisfaction. Rather than a formal education in the ceramic arts, she gained the majority of her knowledge through the time-honored tradition of an apprenticeship at The Village Potters in AVL.
Q&A With This Artist
A: My work is mostly wheel-thrown and distinguished by slip-trailed dots and my cool-toned glaze palette. My pots are fired in a gas kiln within a reduction atmosphere. This atmosphere allows my personally-formulated glaze to form small, opalescent crystals. My blue dots react with my glaze to create what I call "cobalt whispers". I find significant peace and comfort when I create my dot patterns because once finished, the overall geometric design bring a sense of delicacy and harmony to my work.
A: Pottery was not always my life path but after several traumatic life events, including three serious concussions, I realized that working with clay was the key for me to live a happy & fulfilling life. Getting my hands in clay helped me pull myself out of a deep depression that came on after my head trauma & leaving college early. Pottery helped me find a home & career at The Village Potters. Being my creative self with clay helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel & truly saved my life.
A: The reason why I started doing my slip-trailed dots is because I lost a whole kiln load of pots, two months of work, to a glaze mishap. This incident led me to rethink every aspect of my work. I only started dotting my work in February of 2020 and it has evolved so much since then. I am excited to see how my style continues to grow over time. Prior to my concussions, I had a mathematical brain. That side of my brain comes through my work when I am creating my symmetrical, geometric dot patterns.
A: I am spoiled because at my community studio I get to work alongside my mentors now-turned fellow resident artists. I learned from them for two years as an apprentice before joining their ranks in November 2020. They inspired me to find my own voice in clay by pushing me to try new techniques and to always continue learning from others. Sarah Wells Rolland, Lori Theriault and Julia Mann are my main inspirations for throwing skills, business, and pushing my dreams.
A: My studio, The Village Potters Clay Center, focuses on nurturing a creative community through care for one another and education. Part of our advanced classes is time to critique each others' work. I have gotten inspiration from those sessions because it tells me how others view and interpret my work. Those collaborative critiques help grow my design skills and get me to push my work farther. Our studio is also located in Asheville, NC, which is has a large and supportive artisan community.
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