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Pat Rist Bio

Patricia Rist

Clay Bodies Pottery, LLC

It’s all my husband’s fault.

If his new job hadn’t required moving to Connecticut, I would still be teaching in and running chemistry labs at Drew University in New Jersey during the day and serving on 3 boards of education in my “spare” time.                

Our youngest son was still in high school and after soccer season ended he suddenly had many empty hours. I signed up both of us for a ceramics course at the Guilford Handcraft Center. He never went back after the first session, but I did. The clay really grabbed me. I never wanted to stop.

Eventually I met other like minded people through the courses and together we formed the Clay Bodies Pottery, LLC in rented space in Branford.

That was 7 years ago now.

I love working with clay. Sometimes I am fascinated with way the clay “memorizes” the impressions of other materials. I use old pieces of embroidery, tatting and crochet to create patterns in the clay before I build dishes or containers from the slabs…and I love having permanent versions of the fiber arts my grandmother and great-aunts created. Their originals are now stained and mended, but that doesn’t show on my pots!

At other times, working with clay feels more like cartooning in 3-D (especially when I am making salt and pepper animals or larger critters or gnomes.) A little tweak here and there can make a big difference in attitude.

Recently I have found other ways to combine the fiber and clay: using micro-macramé to create necklaces with ceramic pendants and as embellishments on jars and vases.


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