Julie Spako

ABOUT MY WORK: All of my ceramics are made in my studio in Austin, Texas. I work with high fire porcelain and stoneware that is fired to 2350F. Each piece is a hand drawn original. I love to create a balance between the complexity of drawing with the simplicity of hand-built pottery. All of my glazes are food safe, dishwasher and microwave safe.

ABOUT MY INSPIRATION: My grandmother’s Blue Willow collection has been a big influence on my ceramics. I loved how a story could be conveyed on something you used every day for a very practical purpose. Although I did not realize it at the time, it was the beginning of how important beautiful objects for everyday use would become to me, both as an artist and as a collector.

I am fascinated by textiles, especially embroidery patterns. I strive to incorporate the same level of detail and complexity of design as those beautiful works of art. I am always amazed by the attention to detail that went into something as simple as a hand towel.

ABOUT MY TECHNIQUE: I hand build my pieces out of high fire porcelain and dark brown stoneware. I fire to cone 10 oxidation at my home studio, where I have three kilns.

I prefer hand building because the options for slight variations in form allow me to spend a lot of my time on the surface pattern. This helps keep the overall structure of the pieces fairly simple in comparison to the design. I appreciate the simplicity of the form compared with the complexity of the hand-drawn, hand-painted glaze work.

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