We asked Ros how she learned the craft of pottery, and here she shares her stories, including her greatest influences and influence of her birthright on her brand.
I began taking a class at Albemarle High School with Becky Garrity. She suggested I go to PVCC and take class with Tom Clarkson which I did for many years. Tom has been my greatest artistic influence, along with my talented classmates.
What motivates your art?
My mother in heaven motivates me. She was very elegant and I like to think my pottery has the same elegance. Whenever I get stuck, I think about her and her enthusiasm for life and blocks seem to dissipate.
What item are you proudest of and why?
A large textured bowl that is my newest item as well. I find bowls the most difficult to make properly. The inside curve is hard to get smooth and to match the outside and then to have the foot in the right place and size. I struggled with this but think I am finally getting the hang of it.
My customers love that my pottery offers different colors, shapes and textures while remaining functional. They say my prices are very reasonable.
My studio is only open a few times a year right now, so people see my sign on the roadside and come in out of curiosity.
What are your most popular items and why?
My large mugs. People love the texture, size and the way the handle feels. My medallions are popular as well—people are attracted to them, and then I tell them how they originated.
My medallions began when I inherited my mother’s jewelry and began impressing it into the clay to keep her spirit alive. She was very much a people person. I found two owls among her possessions and began stamping my pots, at PVCC, with these as my signature. Unknown to me, my professor, Tom Clarkson, was trying to figure out who was using that stamp.
One day he came in and saw me with the stamped pots and said, “So you’re Two Owls.” Well this just resonated with me because I had recently found my birth family and discovered that I am Native American. Native Americans are named at birth according to what is happening around them at the time of their birth, usually associated with nature. Later in life, society bestows them a new name, one that is earned by their life experiences and accomplishments. So thank you, Tom!
What helps you concentrate?
I love the mornings in my studio with a classical music station on to help take me to my creative place away from reality for a while.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I was adopted, and my birth mother is a self-taught artist. Also I was a jockey, riding since age 6, and never thought of myself as creative or artistic.
What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving because it brings family and friends together in gratitude and love.
You can find Ros' work on display at our Cville Holiday Craftacular, and for her newest creations and upcoming shows be sure to visit Two Owls Pottery on Facebook.