Rebecca May Verrill
Rebecca has been working with clay, teaching and firing kilns for nearly 20 years. She is a native of the foothills of Western Maine, where she first developed her love of creating objects from the natural world. After 10 years in Taos, New Mexico, teaching art, building and firing wood kilns, developing clay and fiber wares and working on collaborations with area artists, she received her Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics at the State University of New York at New Paltz, with a special focus on native clays.
Now Portland, Maine based, Rebecca’s current body of functional work is primarily formed on the potters wheel with earthenware, often altered and low fired in an electric kiln. Her nature inspired contemporary ceramics employ a variety of layered surface design. Working with both red and white earthenware is a conscious material choice that relates to her interests of sustainability and a lower impact on the planet. In grad school she made the switch from high fire work to low temperature, since the native clay of the region is earthenware, which does not require as much energy consumption to fire.
Her bright color choices of turquoise and terra cotta, yellow and shades of green give nod to years of living in the colorful Southwest. Having been raised on a farm in rural Maine and now based in the city of Portland, she is inspired by organic plant life set against the rigidity of a metropolitan landscape; the determination of plant life to thrive and succeed through brick and stone.
Rebecca’s signature abstract plant designs are individually cut out by hand for use as stencils, then carved and often further embellished with water etching, masking, various printmaking techniques, dots and screen printed imagery. She hopes that those who use her work will enjoy it as much as she has enjoyed creating it.