On Saturday, Aug. 31, ceramic artist Melisa Zimmerman will demonstrate how she carves and decorates her colorful pottery from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Zimmerman graduated from Kent State University in 2008, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics. After graduating, she worked as a production potter at Red Drum Pottery in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She then completed two different ceramic residencies, and three years ago, moved to Kentucky to work as a studio technician in the ceramics department at Eastern Kentucky University.
Zimmerman lives in Lexington, where she has established her studio making a line of decorative, earthy and colorful pottery. Her works are decorated by carving the surfaces of the clay and then adding color with “Stroke and Coat” underglazes. To create fine lines and areas of color she often uses an eyedropper.
A final amber glaze is then applied to each piece, over the colorful decorations, to seal the surface and give the final works a rich colorful finish. Zimmerman fires her work in an electric kiln.
Zimmerman says that her inspiration comes from everything from graffiti to nature. Her color palate is bright, and her designs are often reminiscent of a variety of South American and other cultures.
Works by Zimmerman are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.