Courtney first began working in clay while living in Brooklyn, NY. After a few years of working for potters around the city, she moved to Portland, Oregon to study at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. She is currently a long-term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, MT.
My designs are influenced by simplified abstractions of nature, children's artwork, folk art, mid-century modern forms and shapes, as well as textiles, patterns and historical pots.
I am simultaneously attracted to worn surfaces, which show the passage of time, as well as forms that are clean and simple, elegantly utilitarian. I pay careful attention to line, both in my drawings, as well as in the profiles or outlines of the forms themselves. I tend to work slowly, at first roughing out a form then refining it, first in the greenware stage, then again as I apply slip and decorate. I am intrigued by the subtleties and imperfections found in handmade objects, and the way in which these marks reflect the maker of the piece.
A slight change in the profile or image on a piece creates a different mood or feeling. These subtle differences help determine whether a person will be drawn to one piece over another... so much lies in the details. Creating functional work interests me because these handmade objects leave my studio to become a part of somebody else's daily routine. I am interested in the personal connection and moments of quiet contemplation that handmade objects help to create. I am also really interested in the act of making an using handmade objects in a world where the handmade can often be overlooked for the more convenient and readily accessible.