Vernon Smith received his BFA in Ceramics from University of West Georgia and studied sculpture at the Arts Students League of New York. He was a studio assistant at Coleman Clay Studio in Las Vegas for four years and completed a two-year residency at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center before starting to teach ceramics at local community art centers. He currently teaches ceramics at The Lovett School and works in his home studio in Decatur, GA.
"When I first began working with clay thirty years ago, I realized what I loved most was the process of the work – the slow journey of learning something new from every piece, of getting better at a craft, of the satisfaction of making something that could be both beautiful and useful to someone.
Today, I most often experiment with porcelain to make functional wheel thrown pottery, and while my work has changed and developed, my process is still infused with that same intentionally slow focus on patience, time, and detail. Especially in times of turbulence, there is something deeply peaceful in the process of honing shapes without rushing, of taking the time to let my curiosity roam as I experiment with form and ask questions about the character and purpose of each vessel as it develops.
Through multiple iterations and firings, I use a slow and meticulous process to glaze the pieces by brushing on wax resist to create repetitive patterns that are subtle but enhance the form and draw the eye to the beauty of light and shadow against it. The end result, I hope, is a piece that serves not only as a functional and useful item for its new owner but also as an excuse to pause, to sink into the joy of having the time to look carefully, to notice."