Combining coiling and pinching techniques, Polly builds her vessels piece by piece, joining together the different shapes to form a whole. The surfaces are gently textured with fingertip traces, and each form has a soft asymmetry, unique to hand-building. “It’s a slow process that requires patience,” Polly describes. “But there is an intimacy to holding an object that has been formed by your own hands.”
Polly’s live-work space is a short journey from Lake Michigan, and in between studio hours she works as a teaching artist. Mornings and late evenings are spent in the studio, and afternoons are dedicated to teaching, with breaks for walks while the clay dries out. “I walk over to the lake with my dog Frankie,” she says. “It’s very calming, to have a big body of water to look out over.”
There is a similar stillness that Polly craves from working at home, saving the extra messy tasks like glazing and firing for her communal studio. “I like the solitude,'' she explains. “I like being able to listen to music loud, and I like being close to the dog, and the fridge!” She takes the time to live with each of the forms she creates. Mis-fires and prototypes sit around the house on her shelves and kitchen table, allowing Polly to slowly adjust to the feeling and presence of each.