Roberta Polfus • Oak Park, IL • Porcelain

My earliest memories are of my grandmother's flower garden-her tulips, poppies and hydrangeas-and my pockets filled with treasures from the beach. Since then, natural objects have always attracted me.

My wheel thrown, altered, carved and gestural pieces are intimate forms that fit and feel good in my hand. While they are generally not representations of actual objects, they reflect the shapes, patterns, colors and surfaces that I am drawn to in nature-the petals of an apple blossom, the grooves of a spindle shell, the pattern of a hosta leaf or the texture of a weathered rock all inform and inspire my work.

I use a combination of wheel thrown and hand built forms that are altered and carved. With a variety of airbrushed matte and gloss glazes that enhance the surfaces, the pieces are fired in a gas kiln, cone 9/10 reduction.

I was born on the south side of Chicago. By the time I appeared, my parents had two sons and my father was managing a movie theatre. When I was five years old, my father had a new job and an expanding family, so we moved to the quickly developing southwest suburbs.

It was a neighborhood with new families and many children; filled with prairie lots, remnants of old farms and an abandoned golf course. Before the swamp was turned into a sports field across the street from our home, it provided tadpoles, dragonflies, cattails and other sources of inspiration and adventure for me.


With encouragement from a high school art teacher, I received a scholarship to the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts earning a BFA in design and illustration. I worked as a designer in the marketing department of the Field Newspaper Syndicate in the old Sun Times building.

In 1979 I left to freelance, working for a range of clients in the advertising and editorial worlds.

Previously, I had moved to Oak Park where I still share my home with a hound dog named Muddy and never-ending home improvement projects, as well as a constantly changing garden.

I rediscovered clay in 1991 and was invited by ceramic artist, owner and friend, Delores Fortuna, to be a part of Artworks in Oak Park. I have been happily working with clay ever since and for the last nine years, exclusively in porcelain at my studio at Terra Incognito Studios in Oak Park, Illinois.

Outside the Lines Art Gallery • Connie Twining & Stormy Mochal, Owners
1101 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001 • (563)-583-9343 • 101 S Main St, Galena, IL 61036
• (815)-776-9166

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