Today, meet Vicki Rega. She is a customer of Progressive Grounds and a ceramicist. She will be displaying and selling her works.
MEET VICKI REGA:
For the past 40 years I have amused myself and found escape in creative process. It is the process that interests me. What skills are needed? What tools? How are skills perfected? Can I create new tools or improve on old ones?
I ﬁrst did a pottery pit ﬁre 15 years ago as a project for kids in the art department of the Boys and Girls Club. It was also my ﬁrst pottery building experience. The process appealed to me in great part for the uncontrolled nature of the color ﬁring.
All of my pieces are built by hand. It is a slow process requiring a tactile understanding of the particular clay that is being worked. I currently use 4 clays that each serve the process in different ways. These were identiﬁed by regular samplings of different clays. The outcome of this part of the work is dependent on my knowledge and skill (and sometimes willingness to follow the clay where it wants to go.)
The color ﬁring also depends on some skills: how to build the ﬁre, what temperature achieves the best results, what substances produce which colors, etc. However, once the ﬁre is lit, it is all out of my hands. How the pottery is packed into the pit has some inﬂuence on how colors develop in the ﬁring, but in the end the color and pattern of each piece is determined by the ﬁre.
All that said, I just like playing with mud and building big ﬁres. I build the pots in front of the tv with a good movie playing. The pit ﬁrings are done in the Death Valley area in southern California. It is a fun place to go hang out, and there is not a lot of stuff that I might accidentally burn down.