Debbie Corley

Debbie C image 1I am originally from Maryland but have lived in Knoxville for almost 30 years. I have always enjoyed working with my hands, first as a hairdresser and make-up artist, and now as a potter and clay enthusiast. I am mostly self-taught via trial and error over the years, but have also benefitted from the teaching of a few wonderful instructors and many online workshops. Recently, I have been taking classes at Pellissippi State, with Ellie at Mighty Mud, and some private lessons with Knoxville potter and retired art teacher Mack Hickey.

My earliest memories of working with ceramics are watching my mom scrape away the seam on her slip-cast greenware pieces and then underglaze them before returning them to the ceramic store to be fired. I remember being annoyed that I didn’t understand how the piece was made. I didn’t want to just paint pieces, I wanted to make them! So, about 18 years ago I signed up for a throwing class with a Terra Madre, Valerie Eiler, and have been making ever since. Now, as an empty nester I intend to throw myself full force into learning and growing as a full-time clay artist. The folks over at Mid-South Ceramics and The Clay Lady’s Campus in Nashville have been a wonderful source of support and inspiration to me, and I am thrilled to have found a new community amongst the Terra Madres right here in Knoxville.

My work is mostly wheel thrown, but I do make some hand built pieces as well. I primarily create functional ware that is intended to be used in daily life. I am inspired by nature, and I think seasonally, so I often have a spring floral line, a summer at the beach line, a fall leaves and mums line, and a winter pines and snowflake theme. I love patterns and textures, so I enjoy carving, and using underglazes and decals in my work. Clay is the most wonderful medium! I love the plasticity of the clay and the additive and subtractive nature of it. I also enjoy art history, documentaries, food, and music.

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