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Ayla Mullen

Floyd, VA

"Ceramic Artist and Botanical Enthusiast"
I grew up in a tight-knit community of farmers and environmental activists in Olympia, Washington. Formative experiences exploring the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, and growing food plants on our family farm, molded my aesthetic sensibilities, and became the source of my inspiration. I have always loved the long, organic lines of grass stalks and leaf venation; the sense of both groundedness and upward movement in plant forms. For me, clay is a medium to capture these feelings, to tell the stories of the plants and landscapes around me as I perceive them, in line and form and image.

I went to college initially for environmental studies. At a tiny liberal arts school in Vermont, I took ceramics classes as an elective every semester. Two of my teachers there, Martina Lantin and Megan Mitchell, profoundly influenced my dedication to clay. They helped me realize the subtle yet powerful effect that ceramic objects can have on the world. I began to see ceramics no longer as a mere hobby but as a language, I could learn, a language that could communicate with depth and nuance the feelings and stories that I knew and cared most deeply about.

Thus I finally came to pottery with serious intention in my last year of school. Since that decision I have followed opportunities in clay all across the country: from Marlboro College in rural Vermont to the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and most recently to apprentice with Ellen Shankin in Floyd, Virginia.

In 2017 I completed my apprenticeship, and in 2018 I moved into my own small home studio in Floyd, VA where I live and work currently.
Wescover creator since 2020

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