Summer Fridays: Ceramicist HR Wright



HR Wright is one of our fantastic artists and art vendors. Ceramics are the focal point of her craft with her dazzling glazes and sharp shapes. She takes part in local art shows as well as teaching beginner ceramics classes, and dives into the marketing side of the arts helping Art Island and the Travis Heights Art Trail.


Swipe to read more about HR (@stayunstill) and check out our Instagram stories all day today as she gives you a peek into her art filled life! Give her a follow to keep up to date on what she'll be cooking up in her studio. Our Summer Fridays series puts a spotlight on our core team members and what they do when they’re “off” from Art Island events and “on” in their personal life. Tune in every week for a local profile and a day-long stories takeover!


How do you contribute to Art Island?

I started out by vending my pottery at the Bestow event which was my first introduction to Art Island. Since then, I have live-demoed bubble glazing, helped build and launch Spindrifter, and am now getting to be a part of the marketing team. I love that I can contribute in a variety of ways!



Favorite Art Island event you’ve been to and why?

Bubbles and Beats would have to be my favorite! Demonstrating the bubble glazing process to people dancing by was a blast! It was a treat to show off the magic that I see in my pots every day, and, if I could, I would have a live band or DJ spinning vibes on the regular in my studio.



What’s keeping you busy work-wise this summer?


I’ve got a couple larger art shows that I’m vending at this fall, so primarily I’m working on building inventory. I’m honing in on the mechanics of my pieces as well as my go-to glaze combinations so that my booth is teeming with fun and functional pieces. In addition to helping with AI’s marketing team, I’m also helping with the Travis Heights Art Trail marketing and working on my own branding (please ignore my website for now!) And I just started teaching beginner ceramics at the Dougherty Art Center. AND I have a day job. Phew! So, many things!


What’s keeping you busy outside of work this summer?


I just moved into a new apartment and I am so excited to get creative in setting up my space. Once upon a time, I considered going into interior design so I’ve spent the last few days rearranging my furniture 6+ times and creating a footprint layout on graph paper to try out different set ups. It’s always a fun puzzle and I have the best time trolling thrift shops for cool furniture pieces to refurbish and enhance.



What are your creative goals heading into fall?


I’m really trying to invest time in the music side of my life that has laid dormant for TOO MANY years! Practicing guitar and singing in the shower are the most sacred of daily rituals and I try to be a regular at open mic nights. I hope that I can make some bigger pushes in the fall and maybe start writing again. Anyone need a singer for their band?


What’s your ideal summer Friday night in Austin look like?


To choose something ideally…I’d start with a studio visit to make sure pieces were drying right and ready for the kiln (gotta make sure the kids are alright!). Then run home to chow down and clean up before heading out for live music and dancing at Sahara Lounge or Outer Haven or whatever other fun music event my friends have heard about! Leaving myself open for anything to happen makes the ensuing adventures all the more satisfying.


Your favorite place to cool down this year?


Not to sound like a broken record, but probably my studio! Between the AC and the natural cooling effects of mud, it’s a perfect artistic retreat from this relentless heat. Being from New York, my body and brain are slow to adapt to this thermostat, but when I do want to enjoy the weather WHILE keeping cool, a dip in Barton Springs or a paddle board cruise are my northern-blood approved activities.




Favorite place for a work lunch in Austin?


When I’m working on my branding/website/editing, I usually choose Opa! I love how tucked away it feels and their new landscaped patio makes you feel like you’re far away from the bustle of South Lamar. Their noms are light and great to munch on all afternoon and they’ve got a killer happy hour; because, who doesn’t find website building just a liiiiitle more fun when there’s sangria involved?


When I’m working on my branding/website/editing, I usually choose Opa! I love how tucked away it feels and their new landscaped patio makes you feel like you’re far away from the bustle of South Lamar. Their noms are light and great to munch on all afternoon and they’ve got a killer happy hour; because, who doesn’t find website building just a liiiiitle more fun when there’s sangria involved?


What’s an emerging trend in your industry that we should pay attention to?


To quote an artist friend, “There is a lot of stuff in the world.” I think the new trend is to be intentional with what you create, recognizing the lasting impact, and ensuring that you’re making something with a purpose. Ceramics is an industry that has been around a LONG, long time, so the most notable changes I’ve seen are related to sustainability and resource scarcity. Ceramics uses a lot of water and power and crazy chemicals that weren’t often used by other industries. While I’ve always recycled my clay and loaded kilns to the hilt, it’s been a little scary to see deficits of things like cobalt, knowing that there are some glazes that can’t react the same without it.


What local community is doing great things and we should we support?


Austin Creative Reuse, Neighborhood Reuse Center, APA! Thrift and literally any other thrift shop. There are so many things that get discarded daily that are A) still perfectly usable and in great condition, B) are originally sold at inflated price points because: Capitalism, and C) can support a nonprofit’s mission! These places are regular haunts of mine and I love that I get the most fun ideas and funkiest of pieces from the adventure that is exploring thrift store shelves, while supporting local nonprofits who support the community I live in.


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