Meet Bri Larson
2019-2020 CERAMICS RESIDENT
SY: Howdy Bri! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? What department are you working in?
My name is Bri Larson and I am a ceramic artist. I am the Alloy Fellow here at the Steel Yard and I work primarily in mid-range functional porcelain decorated with patterns carved into the clay with an X-Acto knife.
SY: Where are you from?
I’m from Minnesota, where I have lived almost all my life up until about 2 years ago when I moved to Providence, RI.
SY: We get this question a lot… how would YOU define Industrial Arts?
I have always thought of industrial arts more in the way of steel as the primary medium. However, after thinking about this further, there is a deep history and use of ceramics in manufacturing, electricity, tiles, plumbing, etc. that many industries rely on.
SY: What are you working on now?
I just finished making a lot of work for the American Craft Council show in Baltimore. Now my next project is to test some new colored clays in addition to exploring metal casting paired with porcelain works. I am very excited about these next few projects!
SY: Who are your greatest inspirations? What work influences your work?
My greatest influences draw from patterns, specifically those found in fabric, architecture, and landscapes.
SY: Do you show your work? Where can people see it/ buy it/ experience it?
I show my work in juried shows around the nation. I have some pieces available at Craftland in Downtown Providence and I also sell my work online through my website.
SY: Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic practice?
I work with porcelain, making functional and somewhat sculptural work decorated with patterns that have been hand-drawn with an X-Acto knife into the clay. When the piece is dry, but not fired, I wipe colored underglaze into the designs and wipe it away, revealing the pattern contrasting against the white porcelain. You can find me usually in the Steel Yard studio nights and weekends.
SY: How did you find The Steel Yard? What were you doing before you joined the Residency Program?
When I moved here from Minnesota, I had no idea where I was going to work with clay. I did some Google searching for studios around but I didn’t see anything that had really met my needs. I lived in the arcade for the first few months here and that first month I would hang out at New Harvest coffee and just do art. It was there I met this super cool person who told me about Ladies Drawing Night hosted and attended by some amazing and supportive artists. They were the ones who told me about The Steel Yard and encouraged me to apply to the residency, which was just days before the deadline closed!
SY: Have you ever worked in a shared studio before? What do you think?
I worked in a shared studio in college and it was amazing! Just being around other creative people and friends all day is one of the best experiences of my life. That’s also the best thing about the Steel Yard, is it brings everyone together, especially between mediums.
SY: Have you ever taken a Steel Yard course? Can you tell us about your experience?
I have taken a few Steel Yard courses. I took a slip casting class with Liz Hafey and an intro to jewelry class with Allison Bruun. Both were incredibly inspiring and gave me new skill sets to bring to my own body of work.
SY: Have you ever worked on a Public Project? Can you tell us about your experience?
I haven’t, but maybe someday there will be a public project that needs a ceramic artist!
SY: Have you ever attended a Steel Yard event? Can you tell us about your experience?
The Steel Yard sure knows how to host an event! I’ve been to many events, including the iron pours.
SY: When you’re not in the studio working- what do you do in your free time?
In the summer I love taking hikes and going to the beach. When it’s a bit colder out, I like to sew, crochet, read a book, or play video games.
SY: We talk a lot about ‘Yardies’ here- curious, what does YARDIE mean you to?
A YARDIE means being a part of The Steel Yard community and having The Steel Yard as a place to call home.
SY: What are you MOST excited for this year?
I am super excited for future iron, bronze and aluminum pours in addition to the next soda firing!
SY: What do you think will be your greatest CHALLENGE?
My greatest challenge will be taking the leap from working a day job to being a full-time artist and maker, supporting myself fully off my art and teaching!
TIME FOR THE RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS!
SY: Favorite food?
I can always go for a good taco!
SY: Favorite movie?
Star Wars (Empire Strikes Back if you want to get specific)
SY: Favorite book?
Tough one… I recently enjoyed reading These Truths by Jill Lepore
SY: Favorite artist/maker?
I don’t have one single favorite artist or maker, but I do really admire David Byrne! I really admire the works of Ayumi Horie, Liz Pechacek, Kyle Carpenter, Randy Johnston, and Jan McKeachie Johnston, too.
SY: What skill would you like to master?
I’d love to learn how to weld, it seems like such a useful skill to have!
SY: Favorite tool in the shop?
Probably my banding wheel or my X-acto knife.
SY: Annnnnnnd finally, is there anything else you’d like the Yardie community to know about you?
I have a cat named Muffin who I adopted from a traveling cat circus.