Courtney Martin is a studio potter living and working in the mountains of North Carolina near Penland. She grew up just outside of New York City on Long Island. Martin received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of New Mexico. After graduating Martin moved to western North Carolina to work with Terry Gess, Cynthia Bringle, Shawn Ireland and apprentice for Michael Kline (2003-2004). In 2007, Martin was awarded the NC Regional Artists Project Grant to build a wood fired cross draft climbing kiln (Ruggles and Rankin design). In July 2010, Martin mounted a solo show in Okinawa, Japan. She has taught at Penland and Arrowmont, and is represented by (among others) Penland Gallery, Schaller Gallery, and Signature Shop. She shares her home with her husband (glassblower John Geci), two kids, and two dogs.
As a gardener, cook, mother, and potter, I think a lot about food. It makes me so happy to serve something I know to be nourishing. I think that is why making pots seems so special to me. I love setting a table full of different bowls and plates and trays containing wholesome foods.
When I am in my studio making pots, I consider how I intend the pots to be used. Different pots for different foods. I work in series, and try to improve the form on each successive pot. The rhythm of my kickwheel, and the pace of making slab work are just the right speed for me. When I glaze my pots I consider how foods will be presented in the pottery. I draw bold patterns on my simple pots. I try to bring something of an urban sensibility to traditional forms and techniques.
The environmental implications of my craft are important to me, so I make my firings carbon neutral by using waste wood from the local saw mill to fire my kiln. I appreciate the connection that tending the fire affords. Wood crackles quietly and I am directly involved with the kiln. I love that the fire, ash, and salt make their mark on my pots.
I aim to make pots with integrity that radiate sweetness and joy.