Caroline Payne

Creativity has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Not always in the realm of visual arts but in some way or another. As a child I used to write fantasy novels and create other worlds that I could travel to with my imagination. Today, my work still reflects that love of fancifulness and enchantment, but now in a much different capacity.

I grew up surrounded by beauty on the west coast of British Columbia with endless inspiration at my fingertips. My artistic spirit emerged as a passion for creative writing and after graduating high school I moved to Victoria to pursue a degree in such. In my final year before graduating I took two ceramic art classes as electives and to say I was hooked would be an understatement. I was bit by the pottery bug. The tactile nature of the art form stood in stark contrast to my previous training in writing. So much of my work with words felt very abstract in the sense that it existed in my imagination and on paper but there was no way to physically see it as more than a mental image. Ceramics produced tangible results, successful or not, I was able to see the amalgamation of my efforts in front of me and even hold them and touch them. This merging of tactile and imaginary fascinated me, and I began to develop a deep interest in the intersection between form and function.

After graduating I knew that the sudden passion for ceramics that I had just experienced was something worth exploring and I enrolled in the ceramics program at Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson. At KSA I was able to learn all the practical aspects of the craft and the immersive nature of the program helped me hone my skills and really develop a sense of artistic voice. In my final couple months, we were approached by the Arts Station here in Fernie to ask whether one of us would like to move there and run their pottery studio and I jumped on the opportunity. Today I continue to manage our little community studio and teaching new and emerging potters has become a constant source of inspiration.   

With regard to my own work, I am very inspired by whimsy and magic. I try to express my love of fairy tales and romanticism with a colorful palette of glazes and sparkly embellishments. Each piece I create begins as a lump of clay and over a period of several weeks it becomes something totally unique. No piece I create is alike because even if constructed using the exact same elements such slight variations create unique and irreplicable nuance. Pottery is inherently inspired by nature as it comes from the earth itself, each element is used to produce a single piece. I create pieces that I hope will bring joy to those who use them and encourage them to see the magic in the little moments, day to day - like your morning coffee. 

I love ceramics for its ability to merge art and craft, beauty and functionality. I see my work as something utilitarian and something a little fancy all in one!

To learn more about Caroline and her creations, follow her on social media @passionfruitpottery, visit her website or head to the Fernie Arts Co-op where you will find her work.