Pretty Pieces of Joy

Dis­cover R.Wood Stu­dio’s col­or­ful ce­ram­ics, for sim­ple dish­ware in­spired by na­ture.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Extra - BY ANNE BRINK

Look­ing to add beau­ti­ful, sim­ple and highly use­ful dishes or other pot­tery to your ta­ble or home?

R.Wood Stu­dio just might fill the bill. The ce­ramic pieces, all de­signed by Rebecca Wood, are in­spired by the shapes and col­ors of na­ture. El­e­gant yet com­fort­able, the dishes are perfect for a cozy or so­phis­ti­cated cot­tage look.


Rebecca started R.Wood Stu­dio af­ter 10 years of mak­ing still life paint­ings for a liv­ing. “Af­ter a stock mar­ket crash in 1987 made all the red SOLD dots dis­ap­pear off my paint­ings … I de­cided to create things at lower price points that more peo­ple could af­ford,” she says. She ex­per­i­mented with many dif­fer­ent art forms: paint­ing with dyes on vel­veteen, then mak­ing hats, scarves and cloth­ing. She made jew­elry and painted fur­ni­ture. Then she took a china-paint­ing class, and just loved the idea of mak­ing beau­ti­ful, one-of-a-kind plates to be used and en­joyed ev­ery day.

But china paint­ing turned out to be too frag­ile of a medium for Rebecca, so she sought other ways to create dishes. She or­dered some clay and glazes, and a friend bought her a used kiln at a yard sale for $200. She got out a rolling pin and started rolling out flat discs that be­came plates. Rebecca dis­cov­ered that “the com­mer­cial glazes were so much brighter and richer that I fell in love!” And now she finds “cre­at­ing with clay al­ways feels like play.”


Rebecca is an in­tu­itive artist. She says, “I don’t so much make up ideas as I let them come to me. I can feel an in­spi­ra­tion com­ing on, like a flower com­ing into bloom.” She de­scribes her style as joy­ful, “as in the joy that one feels in the pres­ence of beauty, or think­ing of some­thing beau­ti­ful.”

Be­ing a cre­ative per­son, she was “driven to ob­serve and recre­ate the beau­ti­ful forms and col­ors of na­ture,” whether through fash­ion, craft­ing, paint­ing or other means. As she ex­plains it, “The pat­terns and col­ors of na­ture are em­bed­ded in my brain, and na­ture re­mains my con­stant in­spi­ra­tion.”

In pot­tery, Rebecca’s shapes are “in­spired by his­tory and by a de­sire for sim­plic­ity and use­ful­ness.” She gets in­spi­ra­tion by look­ing at world pot­tery of the past, es­pe­cially Ja­panese and Korean pot­tery. Rebecca adds, “I am also for­tu­nate to know many ex­cel­lent pot­ters in the South­east and beyond that are so in­spir­ing!”


To Rebecca, “Cot­tage style means cozy and close to the earth and flow­ers, and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of beauty and work­man­ship.” And cot­tage style goes per­fectly with her work. She also likes a vin­tage vibe. “I’ve al­ways been (and still am 100%) a thrifter! I love to cruise an­tiques malls for in­spi­ra­tions on shapes, color com­bos and new ideas for things to make,” she ex­plains.

And her cus­tomers are like­wise in­spired, de­lighted and crazy about her sim­ple, beau­ti­ful and al­ways use­ful cre­ations. How do Rebecca’s cus­tomers use her pot­tery? A few keep their R.Wood pot­tery in the china cabi­net, and many dis­play it on the wall (where the pieces look fabulous!). “But,” Rebecca says, “it is re­ally made to be used and en­joyed ev­ery day… it makes me happy to think of the joy each piece will bring.”



[Top] Rebecca Wood, artist, de­signer and founder of R.Wood Stu­dio. [Above] Dishes in the col­ors Cot­ton, Gold and Poppy Seed.

Hand­made pot­tery adds ar­ti­sanal charm to a kitchen or table­top.

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