About the Artist
I was born in Winsted, CT, in 1951 and enjoyed a creative childhood steeped in family traditions. From 1969 to 1974, while attending Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven, I studied ceramics under David Crespi.
In 1975 I moved to Portland, Me. I taught pottery at the YWCA, worked with adolescent runaways and managed a food co-op until I was able ,in 1979, to establish an independent studio. Pottery has been my sole profession since that time. A teaching affiliation with the Portland Jewish Community Center, started in 1977, gradually came to a close in 1991 under the increased demands of my show &&&& exhibition schedule. In 1990 my husband Michael, a photographer, became my business manager and partner in Rara Avis Designs.
Over the years I have developed a method of hand building which entails embossing clay slabs with antique cut work linens dating from the turn of the century until about 1940. Their floral designs reflect the decorative styles of their times flavor my pottery. A sense of history and tradition is enhanced by using these textiles, some of which are part of my own family legacy.
After embossing the clay slabs, I dive joyfully into the forming process. I wrap, join, press, stretch, bend and incise. The flowers that were once stitched flat into linen doilies twist and curve, reminiscent of the garden flowers that inspired them. The work is glazed white with fresh floral colors and finished with a brief highlighting of 22K gold. The resulting work is contemporary yet evokes memories of treasures found in grandmothers china closet.
In addition to my line of Judaic Ritual Objects, I also make varied vases, bowls and one-of-a-kind pieces of a decorative &&&& functional nature. I enjoy bringing my own sense of design (and some humor) to objects that will be used to create tradition from generation to generation.
Toby Rosenberg293 Read Street
Portland ME 04103-3447