Cor Garcia-Held is the owner and maker behind the brand Cor Pottery. We met a few months ago, when we were both vendors at the Ridgewood Market, in Queens. I was immediately drawn to her display, which had beautiful hanging stoneware planters. She was selling mugs, jewelry, utensils, and more. Cor’s shapes are modern and her glazes are earthy. She works in small batches. She writes on her About Me page, that she started out as an Art Therapist and then turned to pottery to help cope with an illness. Friends and family encouraged her her sell her work and Cor Pottery was born. Read more about Cor and what inspires her in the interview below:
When you were an Art Therapist, did you use clay? How did you start working with ceramics specifically?
"I used to work with kids with special needs. I worked with many mediums including clay. In art therapy, they say that clay 'is the great absorber' of psychic energy. Nothing feels better than pounding clay when you need to process some anger. Clay was not always my favorite medium but it was always the one that felt the most natural to me. We clicked."
What is you studio space like?
"I work out of a communal studio. I like it this way. I enjoy the days when I have the studio all to myself as well. But, there is something invaluable in an artistic community that I think I will always cherish. My favorite days in the studio are the days when a whole bunch of us are at the studio together, bouncing creative ideas off each other and laughing."
What is your creative process like? How do you decide on the forms and plants you use?
"I love clay and I love plants. I am also an extrovert, which I take to mean: I process my thoughts, ideas and experiences with the world around me. I am constantly asking my fellow potters what they think. I am constantly asking my consumers for their input. When it comes to the plants though, that is maybe my favorite part of the process-putting them in their ceramic homes. It takes a lot of time, finding the right plant with the right form and color and personality for the right pot. But when the marriage of plant and pot is just right, it sings to me.
In regards to how I choose my forms, I aim for minimalism and simplicity in design and color, thus simple yet elegant cylinders and spherical forms. I used to try and be wild with my coloring and try all sorts of glazes on top of each other. But at some point in time, maybe around year ten of potting, I decided maybe a beautiful color and a lovely shape could stand alone."
Please name a few makers that inspire you and why.
"Makers?... there are so many. Truth be told, I am inspired by the potters I work with on a daily basis. I am inspired by the Etsy ceramicists I sell with and I am inspired every time I do a craft fair and see a lovely pot by a fellow potter. It's sort of constant inspiration. But if I have to name names, some that come to mind are: Vitrified studio for her minimalism in design and character, Modern Caveman for her sense of humor and design, and my first ceramic professor at Maine College of Art, Marian Baker."
Thank you for sharing Cor, and thank you for your beautiful photographs!