Artist Statement

My clay work is intended to be useful - this is art that is meant to be touched. In the past everything we used in the home was made by hand. Today our homes are filled with stuff stamped out by machines. When we seek out handmade art we make our surroundings a little more human.


I throw on the potter's wheel or use slabs of clay to hand-build my clay forms.  Each piece is glazed by hand and fired in an electric kiln. 


Over the past few years I’ve been making pottery and ceramic jewelry inspired by the gardens & forests - incorporating birds, flowers & leaves into my designs.  I’m currently working on combining these motifs inspired by the natural world with geometric and textile inspired designs.  This new work came about when I began revisiting a series of pottery & jewelry I made that was inspired by quilts, with their geometric & patchwork feel, about 10 years ago.  I’m really excited about developing this new series, as it feels great to be making new work that builds upon two different bodies of work that I’ve made over the past decade.


Why I’m an Artist

I’ve always been a maker.  From a very young age I knew I wanted to be an artist.  Drawing, painting, crafts & creative play were second nature for me - unlike most early school work due to my dyslexia.  I was blessed with family and teachers who actively encouraged me to focus on my strengths, even while I struggled in other areas.  My difficulty in school was great training for being a professional artist.  Being an artist is labor of love that can be filled with challenges, yet the good definitely makes up for the bad.  You just can’t give up.


Business Story

I started my pottery business during my senior year of college in 2000.  My professional work went through several incarnations: from utilitarian kitchenware to sculptural ceramic boxes geared towards gallery settings.  I opened an Etsy shop in early 2006. Soon after, selling online instead of primarily at Art & Craft Shows reshaped the type of ceramic work I was creating. I started working on smaller, easier-to-ship pottery. It wasn't long before I was making porcelain jewelry and my signature line of small-scale bird pottery. My current work is easier to market to wholesale customers, as well as online shoppers. My work is now sold across the United States.  My business is committed to continuing the promotion of handmade & sustainable business practices.


Eco-Conscious Business

I believe in making sustainable choices for my business and my life. I’m always striving to decrease my business’s environmental impact - from moving my studio to my house and buying from local suppliers to cut down on fuel usage to hand recycling my clay.  My gift packaging and shipping materials are made from recycled or re-purposed materials.  Whenever possible I purchase re-purposed, recycled and/or recyclable supplies for my studio and office.

Resume - Tasha McKelvey


Education


2006 – 2008 - University of Richmond, Teacher Licensure Program, Richmond,  Virginia


1997 - 2000 - Bachelors of Art in Studio Art, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Virginia


1996 -1997 - Longwood College, Farmville, Virginia



Work History


2000 – Present - Studio Potter, Mathews County & Richmond, Virginia


2009 - 2010 - Kid’s Pottery Instructor at The Visual Art Center of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia


2008 - 2009 - Part-Time Middle School Art Teacher, Henrico County, Virginia


January  - May 2008 - Student Teaching in Visual Art at Twin Hickory Elementary School & Varina High School, Henrico County, Virginia


February 2006 - Visiting Artist at Waller Mill Elementary School, Williamsburg, Virginia


June 2003 - Work Study Scholarship, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina


Fall 2001 - Pottery Instructor (throwing & hand-building), Fredericksburg, Virginia


1999 - Pottery Internship, The Poddery, Mathews County, Virginia


1998 – 1999 - Ceramics Studio Aid, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Virginia


1994 – 1998 - Potter’s Assistant, The Poddery, Mathews County, Virginia



Selected Press


September 2014 - Featured in The Washington Post


August 2014 - Artist Profile featured in Mollie Makes US Edition


January - February 2014 - Featured in R-Home Magazine’s “2014 Hot List”


February 2014 - Featured on Virginia This Morning


December 2012 - Featured in Country Living Magazine


July 2012 - Featured in Handmade To Sell by Kelly Rand


Summer 2011 - Studio featured in Studios Magazine


January 2011 - Featured on Virginia This Morning


January - February 2011 - Featured in R-Home Magazine


December 2010 - Featured in Richmond Magazine


July - August 2004 - Featured in Clay Times



Exhibitions & Awards


June - September 2013 - Shine On - The Weave Shed Gallery, Hambidge Creative Residency Center, Rabun Gap, Georgia


November 2012 - Winner of Country Living Magazine’s Pitch Your Product Contest


December 2011 - Winner of the Uncommon Goods Ceramics Design Challenge


November - December 2011 - Gifted - The Clay Studio - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Summer 2010 - Handmade Throwdown - Members of the Richmond Craft Mafia - Crossroads Art Center Richmond, Virginia


October - November 2009 - Adornment Adored - Clay Jewelry Exhibition - Baltimore Clay Works, Baltimore, Maryland


June - August 2009 - Work - Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia


November - December 2008 - Winterfest 2008 Invitational - Baltimore Clay Works, Baltimore, Maryland


October - November 2008 - Jewelry Designers of The Richmond Craft Mafia - This Century Gallery, Williamsburg, Virginia


May 2007 - Purchase Award - The Gosport Art Festival, Portsmouth, Virginia


February - March 2007 - Richard Wilson and Tasha McKelvey - Pastels and Pottery - This Century Gallery, Williamsburg, Virginia


November 2006 – Paintings and Pottery - Tasha McKelvey and Tom McLauchlin - Vincent Hester Gallery, Portsmouth, Virginia


May 2006 - Honorable Mention - Fredericksburg Art Festival, Fredericksburg, Virginia


May 2006 - Award of Distinction - The Gosport Art Festival, Portsmouth, Virginia


January - February 2006 - Works by Hand: Explorations in Clay - Recent works by Tasha McKelvey and Sonja Stoeckli - Portlock Gallery at SoNo, Chesapeake, Virginia


September 2005 - New Works by Tasha McKelvey and Tom McLauchlin - Vincent Hester Gallery, Portsmouth, Virginia


October 2004 - Gallery CBA, Chesapeake Academy, Virginia Beach, Virginia


July - September 2004 - 22nd Annual Bay Days Juried Exhibition, Hampton, Virginia


May 2004 - Yorktown Arts Foundation & This Century Gallery Joint Members Show - Gallery on the York, Yorktown, Virginia


August - September 2003 – Crafts National - Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, Pennsylvania


August 2003 - Third Place Award, Seawall Art Show, Portsmouth, Virginia


June 2003 - Media Award - Fredericksburg Art Festival, Fredericksburg, Virginia


June 2001 - Best in Show - Fredericksburg Art Festival, Fredericksburg, Virginia


October 2000 - Exhibit of Pottery by Tasha McKelvey - On-the-Hill Gallery, Yorktown, Virginia


November 1999 - Senior Exhibit - DuPont Gallery, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Virginia


April 1999 - Department Award in Ceramics - Annual Student Exhibit, DuPont Gallery, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Virginia


Tasha has also exhibited at many Art and Craft Shows in the Mid-Atlantic region since 2000 including:

The Buyer’s Market of American Craft, The American Craft Council’s Baltimore Show, Renegade Craft Fair, Crafty Bastards Craft Show, The Richmond Craft Mafia’s Spring Bada-Bing & Handmade Holiday, Charm City Craft Mafia’s Pile of Craft & Holiday Heap, The Hand Workshop Craft and Design Show, Stockley Gardens Arts Festival, Port Warwick Art and Sculpture Festival, The Gosport Arts Festival, Arts in the Park, Art on the Square, An Occasion for the Arts and many more.