Smiletiles

 

Rachel Bates

I suppose everyone has this list of grand things they want to do when they get around to it. Mine were simple. At least I thought they were... I wanted to learn to play the cello, and get a pottery wheel.

In spring of 2002, I graduated from University of Texas Arlington with my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting! Through those years of academia, I was an active member of the Texas Pottery and Sculpture Guild and learned a lot about how to put together a show and a sale. I participated in gallery shows through the schools I attended and did a few solo shows during that time too. I started teaching pottery at the local Community College where I had first returned to college. And for a few summers I taught College for Kids ceramic and clay. I led workshops and orchestrated workshop programs. I interned with Karla Wagner at Blackjack Clay in Murchison Texas, and helped to develop the clay body I use. I attended many workshops, was dubbed the "workshop Queen" by my pottery teacher, met wonderful clay artists from all over the world, and searched for the direction my work would take.


The work that defines my life at the present is a combination of wheel thrown and hand built pottery and tile. I have always been interested in architecture, words, and texture. Maybe I’m a frustrated writer with all the word tiles I have been making lately. I started making tiles with one word and have now graduated into short phrases. Like a child learning to speak - maybe one day I'll be able to make tiles with full sentences. I think I’m on the right track.


I still haven't learned to play the cello.


We have a great selection of Rachel’s tiles at The Firehouse - a word or phrase for all occasions.