BARBARANN BECKETT-GAINES - CLAY ARTIST
I had the good fortune of growing up tied to the apron strings of a very artistic mother. I was encouraged to make all kinds of crafts, but when it was time to decide on academic directions, I took the fork in the road that led me into mathematics and computer science. I attended Samford University and Vanderbilt University.
While teaching high school mathematics, I became interested in pottery. I give credit to a friend who was the art teacher at the same school. One day she came to my class room and told me that "the" new potter's wheel had arrived. I dug right in, and needless to say, found that throwing a pot was much more difficult than it appeared. But no number of failures could calm my excitement.
Later, I joined the faculty at Jefferson State Community College in the Division of Computer Science. Wedged between study and teaching, I found time to take pottery courses at the college and elsewhere. Along the way, I sought instruction from anyone who could teach me something about clay. I love clay when I am shaping it into a treasure.
In recent years I have enjoyed hand building and decorating my pieces with my personally designed stamps related to my favorite subject (guess what?) as you can see in these pictures.
After I retired from Jefferson State a few years ago, I was invited to become Artist-in-Residence at the then-new Spain Park High School in the Hoover School System. I have been busy in the Art Department working with the students and in the Park Gallery at the school. I also find time to make a few vessels, plates and plaques.
This is not an artist's statement to tell you how to interpret my work. Anyone with eyes can see that it is non-functional and decorative. My goal is to produce a smile on your face when you look at it.