In The Spotlight: Lori Theriault
I’d like to introduce you to a new series of blog posts I’d like to do – putting someone in the spotlight. This person will be someone whom I admire, whose work I love and/or who inspires me.
I am going to kick-off the series with a very talented potter and lovely lady called Lori Theriault.
I first met Lori when I went to Asheville, North Carolina, for my first business retreat in October 2014.
I had a day free before the retreat started and I decided to explore the River Arts District of Asheville. A fellow retreat attendee, Debby, had directed me to the art of someone who is now one of my favourite artists, Jonas Gerard, and after doing an Internet search and finding out where his studio was I set out to see his work in ‘real’ life.
One of Jonas’ studios is in the Riverview Station building – an old building converted into artists’ studios, most of them open most days of the week, and you are encouraged to visit them, chat to the artists and see their work. It’s a wonderful place to go.
And that is where I first met Lori.
I entered the Village Potters gallery and saw Lori coming out of the studio at the back of the gallery. I remember how she greeted me warmly, and upon hearing my British accent we struck up a conversation – particularly, about why I was so far from home. When I mentioned Christine Kane (my business coach), Lori knew immediately who I was talking about – she’d been to some of Christine’s events in the past! I immediately felt at ease, since this was my first business retreat and I didn’t know what to expect, nor did I really know anyone that well, and I’d been a bit nervous. Meeting Lori was a lovely gift to my visit.
When I was back in Asheville for my second business retreat in March, I made a point to see Lori and we met up for lunch (in the warm sunshine!) and a lovely chat. When we parted she gave me a wonderful gift: one of her gorgeous cups! I felt honoured. When I returned home to Edinburgh I started using it straightaway for my cups of tea. I swear it makes tea taste better!
Lori’s work is beautiful. The cup she gave me is very smooth – I thought by looking at it it might feel rough to touch, but I love how she has finished it off. As you may know, I love details – I often discover beauty in the details. And this cup is an example of beauty in the details for me. I can tell care and love have been put into the making and finishing of the cup.
I love the patterns on the cup, in particular the swirls, and coincidentally, I’d been sketching swirls in the weeks before receiving the cup whilst I was playing with patterns and designs for fun. Being playful is part of my creative process, so it brought me much joy to see these patterns on my new cup.
In her own words, Lori makes “functional pots that want to be touched and used”, and she is a “firm believer that ‘homemade tastes better on handmade’”. She also teaches pottery classes and I would love to attend one of them one day – I think it would be so much fun!