Don’t tell Oregon, but this is where it’s at.READ MORE
Chloe May Brown isn't one to fuss over mood boards or wait for inspiration to strike. Instead, the Portland, Maine-based ceramicist bypasses the brainstorming phase entirely, and goes after ideas like an Olympic swimmer: "I really love just diving in and doing it,” she explains. “I see how the clay is working that day and what my hands can do. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't, but that's ok with me.”
Most of the time it works out jusssst fine, resulting in wavy-edged bowls, mugs, and platters, painted with motifs of squiggles, plants and stonework-like patterns. Credit that chilled-out, go-with-the-flow attitude to growing up along the Maine’s coast if you want, but there’s nothing meandering about her track record. While braving the cold at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chloe cut (or, uh, chattered) her teeth studying everything from textile-dyeing to screen-printing—and, of course, ceramics. “I find that what I do in one thing really inspires the abilities of what I can do in another,” she explains. Back home in New England, she found a rhythm toggling between fabric and clay, in the most useful way. It’s a philosophy she hopes carries over to how the finished goods get used. “I don’t consider my pieces to be precious,” she says. “It makes me so excited when somebody tells me they’re using a bowl to eat their cereal.” —neha kulsh
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