Brandy Green Pottery

Potter Brandy Green

by Joshua Heston

“I really love working with my hands and I hate sitting at a computer,” confesses Brandy Green, studio artist and senior at College of the Ozarks. Her emphasis is in ceramics and fibers.

Growing up in Holden, Missouri, Green was introduced to fiber art at a young age.

“My grandma taught me how to sew when I was 10 years old. Clay [however] was still new to me even just a year ago. I fell in love with it.” Her pottery work has caught the attention of the local community. Green was a demonstrating artist with the Branson Art Council’s June art walk and her functional pottery is sold at local coffee shop Vintage Paris.

“With every mug I create, I like to go off what emotions I have. I have a hard time doing sets and prefer making individul pieces.”

Explaining various techniques, Green notes, “I really like using stoneware, which has a high-fire clay body, but I am starting to switch over to porcelain, which is a lot smoother and a lot harder to throw, but it produces a thinner, lighter mug.”

Pottery clays are defined by the heat in which they are fired. A high fire clay body goes into a kiln heated into the 2,280 to 2,345°F range. “A red clay, which is terra cotta earthenware, is a low fire clay body. The iron in the clay is what makes it red,” adds Green. “Firing in the wood kiln takes a lot more time, energy and effort and I’m sick for a week from all the smoke!

“But I have a lot more control and it makes me feel the kiln is mine.”

The study of ceramics, however, is far more than simply throwing simple mugs and bowls. Green explains, “Lately, I’ve been looking at [the work of] Eva Hesse, a Jewish artist who fled Germany right before the Holocaust. I really love what she is doing — it’s tying in clay and fibers, it’s simplification, it’s raw motion.

Gin O’Keefe, an increasingly well-known abstract ceramics artist and College of the Ozarks alumni, recently spoke at the college. Green remembers the event vividly. “We clicked so well. She told me the importance of being honest to yourself. A lot of artists try to force something out there. The limitations of the shape speaks to our own limitations.

“Oftentimes, it’s me putting my stress out there. Whatever emotion I’m experiencing, I’ll put it into art. When I work on a sculpture, that is when I talk to God. It’s a totally C of O moment, but it’s true. When I get angry at Him, I use art to talk and grow.

“I hope people understand.”

plate 1. Original Brandy Green mugs on display at Vintage Paris, Hollister, Missouri. Photo by Joshua Heston, February 6, 2016.


by Joshua Heston

Beautiful art made from earth itself is a special thing.

To also make it a functional part of our lives? That would make it pottery.

The craftsmanship of the potter is hardly native to the Ozarks, as is clear from the quote from Isaiah.

However, there is something about the process that, like basket weaving, brings us back to the basics.

And brings us back home.

Brandy Green Mugs at Vintage Paris

plate 2. Detail, Brandy Green ceramic mugs.

But now, O Lord, thou are our father; we are the clay; and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. — Isaiah 64:8

Brandy Green fish sculpture

plate 3. Original Brandy Green sculpture. More than simple mugs and vases, ceramic art may evoke deep visceral, emotional, even spiritual responses.

Brandy Green

plate 3. Ceramic and fiber artist Brandy Green. Photo by Mariah Merath. Photo courtesy of Brandy Green.

Sabrina Waun

Potter, Sculptor

Sabrina Waun, an Alaska native, creates unique, quirky art in her backyard studio in Branson, Missouri. Each piece is individually scuplted, hand-built or wheel thrown. No molds are made and no two pieces are ever quite alike. Each piece is fired in an electric kiln, then glazed and fired again in an electric or propane raku kiln.

An avid hiker, scuba diver, former competitive snowboarder, firefighter and medic, Waun’s art is inspired by nature — as evidence by the collection of swans, bears, turtles, and even a number of fun puffins on display.

Waun also works with fused and carved glass and has recently begun experimentation with combination of art forms and ceramics. When not working on her art, Waun spends her time with her son, husband and a menagerie of pets.

— by Joshua Heston

Photo credits: J. Heston. Location: Finley River Rodeo Park, Ozark, Missouri • SOTO © Archive 10/01/11 and 10/07/12

dogwood petal Sabrina Waun

plate 2. Sabrina Waun displays a handmade swan.

Pottery Swans and Bears

plate 3. Swans and polar bears seemingly frolic beneath the big top of the 2012 Ozark Craft Fair, Ozark, Missouri.

Christina Lorenzen

plate 5. Made of Clay Pottery pieces.

Christina Lorenzen

Potter, Sculptor

Made of Clay potter and sculptor Christina Duncan Lorenzen has been an artist since she was a child. She began her family-owned business, titled “Mother Earth Pottery” in 1991 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and then near Branson, Missouri, for 10 years until moving to Joplin.

There Lorenzen taught elementary art in her hometown for four and a half years before returning to her first love, making pottery.

The act of creating art is as important to me as singing and giving encouragement and blessing to others. Lately, I like sculpting faces into my pots giving them personality. I love it when my art makes people smile or laugh.

My functional pots also create a sense of accomplishment for my customers benefit. My expectation is that they will use the pottery and let it decorate their world.

Made of Clay is located in Joplin.

— by Joshua Heston

Arts & Crafts

Email the Editor:

Ozark Culture

State of the Ozarks Inc.
© 2007-2019

Copy and/or use of any portion of this site for commercial reasons without written consent is expressly prohibited.

PO Box 205, Hollister, MO 65673

ozark pine

Celebrating & Preserving the Ozarks