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Guest Instagrammer: Stephanie Boyd Works

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As we gear up for this year’s Handmade Holiday Festival, our Instagram Account (@Alchemy413) is being hijacked by some of our vendors.

Stephanie Boyd of Stephanie Boyd Works kicks it off. Shoppers beware; her photos will make you yearn for a hot cup of coffee in a hand-thrown mug, a bouquet of seasonal flowers spilling out of a pitcher vase and a long dinner table set with handmade plates.

Mark your calendar for December 5th and 6th. The Handmade Holiday Festival will be at Berkshire Community College, and you can meet Stephanie and make her beautiful pots all yours!

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Tell us about yourself.

I started my career as an engineer and I have worked and lived in several countries. These life experiences have led me to think about our sense of place, the impact of resources we consume in our daily lives, and to appreciate our local culture.

Through Stephanie Boyd Works, I strive to create beautiful, functional objects that support the joy in life’s simple pleasures: a serving platter for farm fresh vegetables, a vase for a handful of wild flowers, a cozy mug for hot tea.

I started working with clay in the 1990’s in Montreal. At that time, I was focusing on slab built sculptural work. I spent a year visiting and working in studios of ceramicists in the Czech Republic. While I was there, I had a wonderful opportunity to have a show in Brno, CR with some fellow Canadians. (I am a Canadian).

I then returned to more traditional ‘work’ as a management consultant in Czech Republic, Canada and USA. Most recently I founded and ran the sustainability office at Williams College. About 2 years ago, I made the decision to return to artistic endeavors.

It has been a tremendously rewarding experience – establishing a studio in my home, experimenting with techniques and forms.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the idea of “terroir.” A term originally used to describe the environmental conditions that give a French wine its unique regional flavor but has been expanded to include a broader concept of local food and culture. I strive to create pieces that are rooted in our locale, that reflect the natural beauty of the Berkshire hills, our burgeoning interest in farm grown foods, and our deep sense of community.

One of the most exciting aspects of functional work is the multidimensional challenge of a good piece. I work at developing colors that are rich and inviting yet speak of a simple elegance, constructing forms that fit gracefully in the hand and connect the user to the maker, creating surfaces that beg to be touched, and of course, designing for purpose and functionality.”

What is a “successful piece” to you?

A successful pot is the one that we reach for when we return from the farmer’s market to serve a meal prepared for our friends and family. I like the idea that my pots may be loved enough to be passed on to future generations.

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