Bobby Vaillancourt was born in Rome, GA in 1958. He received his BBA from the University of West Georgia in March 1982 with a major in marketing and a minor in art. Bobby was introduced to clay during his senior year of high school at Woodward Academy. A former student demonstrated a new potter’s wheel and from that moment on clay became his medium of choice.
When creating pottery I feel a strong connection with the earth. Whether it is hand molded or thrown on the wheel, the process can be meditative and calming while at the same time very satisfying. Whatever comes to my mind’s eye can spring to life through the clay. A perfectly centered piece of clay on the wheel spinning at the right speed and being pressed between the fingers is empowering for me.
I’m a “people watcher”. Growing up in New York City as I rode the buses and subway, I watched. I took note of the lines and angles in faces. I observed expressions, movements and gestures. I was always fascinated, never tiring of the subject matter.
I continue to be fascinated by the human animal- the only mammal that elevates life experiences in the form of the arts.
On reflection- I consider this the beginning of my informal training. My formal training in the arts consists of a few classes in junior college and two beginner pottery classes at a local arts and recreational studio. I continue learning by doing.
In 2015 I ventured into juried shows. I won the President’s award at the Columbus Artist Guild Members show in July and First Place in the Fine Arts Amateur Division at the Georgia National Fair in October.
My fascination with homo- sapiens is reflected in much of my work. It is the subject matter in my sculptural work and is often reflected in my functional pieces.
I am in the company of all the artists throughout the ages, who watched and observed and found the subject matter of “people” worthy to be elevated in the form of the arts.
Born in Australia and raised in California, Marilyn moved to Georgia in 1973 and taught art in Meriwether County schools for 30 years. During these years, she hosted numerous student trips to the great museums in Europe.
Marilyn earned a BA in Art from San Diego State University in 1972, an MBA in Art Education from Columbus State University in 1980, and spent the summer of 1985 studying in Africa on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Since retiring in 2004, Marilyn continues to study and share the joy of art with others. She particularly enjoys experimenting with whimsical and unique mixed media pieces. Her love of the artistic extends to her avid gardening and her menagerie of various breeds of colorful chickens.
Marilyn has received “Best of Show” and her work has been represented at the Harris Arts Center and other local galleries.
Since 1995 I have been living and working in Meriwether County at the former home studio of the late D.X. Gordy, one of several Gordy family artists and craftsmen revered throughout Georgia for their pottery making skills. Working in this historical environment has enhanced my perspectives and appreciation of mid-twentieth century potters who had to adapt their methods to the changes in handmade pottery technology and taste.
I mix stoneware clay in a motorized washtub and produce wheel thrown pottery on an electric wheel. Some of my glazes are derived from local minerals including iron sand, hardwood ashes, and a gneiss-hornblende stone. The minerals are pulverized using a hammer mill and jar mill to produce a fine powder that is mixed with clay and water then applied to a bisque-fired pot. Most of the stoneware is fired in a wood burning kiln where it reaches temperatures hot enough to melt the homemade glazes. Hot embers and flames enhance the clay and glazes causing glaze runs, pooling, and flashing marks on the clay.