When she’s not hard at work at Reynolds High School, potter Teresa Wolfe is finding her zen hand-building clay in the pottery studio at Sawtooth School for Visual Art or carving designs in her clay in her home studio.
A North Carolina native, Teresa majored in art at East Carolina University. She then lived several years in Northern Alexandria, McLean and Falls Church, Virginia, just minutes from our nation’s capital. She found much inspiration in the art and artists she met in art museums and galleries in D.C. She brought that inspiration with her as she moved back to North Carolina to Winston-Salem to be closer to family as she raised her four children.
Teresa found working in clay to be a wonderful escape from difficulties and pain in her life. “They say clay is the new yoga and I would say it’s true, as I would leave the studio with calmness and peace, letting negativity go,” said Teresa. “In working in clay, first working with the wheel then hand building, I found an outlet of creativity and friends, generous people that encourage you and share their knowledge of working in clay. As I worked through my emotions, life, and thoughts, I used carving in clay as my path to positivity, incorporating my thoughts and everyday life in my clay work.” Though she experienced difficulties in her life, as we all do, Teresa sought to express lightheartedness and positivity through her work. “Life is tough enough,” she explained. Much of her work depicts women, and so has a strong pro-woman, yet fun, feel. She began using messages from pop songs to express positivity, such as “Here she comes just a walking down the street, singing doo-wah-diddy-diddy-dum-diddy-do” or Cindy Lauper’s “ Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” or silly phrases like “You go, girl!” and other self-affirming mantras. Her cat, “Izzy,” is another of her muses and also often appears in her work.
“When the kiln opens, it’s like your birthday, with all these gifts – some are not what you expected, as glazes are fickle and the kiln is not always good to you, but other times you find unexpected beauty.”
You can find Teresa’s work on sale at the gift shop at Sawtooth School for Visual Art in downtown Winston-Salem during their Deck the Halls event in December, on Instagram at @TeresaWolfeClay and by appointment at Teresawolfe1234@gmail.com.
Camel City Creates is a monthly column of Forsyth Woman magazine featuring talented creative women in our community.