Natalie Blake Studios
Natalie began her professional career in 1994, creating her unique line of carved vessels and hand sculpted lids out of a small, residential studio in southern Vermont. Her work quickly gained exposure through art shows like the Smithsonian Craft Show and the American Craft Exposition. In 2002, Ornament Magazine described her work as an “extraordinary collection of pottery consisting of brilliant blue green glaze and fine detailed carving, which are her trademark. Each piece has an ancient as well as contemporary feel.”
In 2000, Natalie’s business expanded into a studio in an old, converted cotton mill in the small New England arts town of Brattleboro, Vermont. During the next 13 years, Natalie continued to expand her inventive line of vessels while also developing her unique line of sculptural wall art tile. While at Cotton Mill, she formed a partnership with Randi Solin, a Brattleboro glassblower, and their joint venture, Fulcrum Arts, now inhabits a building of its own at 485 West River Road in Brattleboro, VT. At Fulcrum Arts, you can take workshops & visit their year round gallery, open six days a week. Visit Fulcrum Arts website for details.
Natalie’s work offers the viewer both the modern and the classical, the aqueous and the lushly verdant. Her pieces have been informed by a wide variety of eclectic experience and formal institutional training. Natalie studied at Kenyon College where she graduated with a degree in ceramics and painting.
Natalie has been internationally influenced by a myriad of host countries. At the age of 13 she moved with her parents to the West Indies and at 18 she traveled solo through South America for a year, teaching art to children in Ecuador. In 1992, as a postgraduate, Natalie was the recipient of the prestigious Thomas J. Watson fellowship, which brought her to the Netherlands, Korea, Nepal, India and Indonesia. There she worked with the Sasak women of Lombok using traditional methods of forming water vessels with a stone and paddle. The intensity of colors from these countries, the contours of landscape, the figures and their textiles all infuse her work. Her work brings the viewer to distant lands with hues, ensigns and lines matchless in the craft.
Carving through colored slips to contrast with the white porcelain underneath, Natalie’s current work is reminiscent of archetypal dream imagery. The viewer is, in one breath, taken on an intense and gorgeous journey from mythical to metaphorical.
Natalie has won many awards and received national media attention for her work, as well as inclusion in several permanent museum collections. Her work is exhibited widely throughout the continental United States, as well as New Zealand and Australia, and she has shown or has installations in Hawaii, London, Anguilla, West Indies and Puerto Rico.
Natalie Blake Studios has been awarded three, large public art grants in the past several years. In 2011 Natalie was selected from among 600 applicants to create work for installation throughout the Chabot College campus in Hayward, CA. In 2013 NBS created three, 6′ x 15′ murals depicting historical scenes from an African-American community in Tampa, FL. These murals are adhered to concrete walls surrounding a neighborhood housing complex. In 2014, NBS won another public art grant from the Service High School in Anchorage, Alaska. Natalie’s team is currently creating 10 murals to decorate interior columns in the school’s cafeteria for this grant.
Based in the small New England arts town of Brattleboro, Vermont, Natalie’s studio is part of Fulcrum Arts, a collaboration between Natalie Blake and Randi Solin (Solinglass). Fulcrum Arts houses expanded studios for both artists, classroom space, and a retail gallery. Live demonstrations of the artist’s process in both glass and clay, as well as regular classes, will offer collectors, tourists, and the local community unique opportunities to become actively involved in the creation of glass and ceramic works. www.fulcrumarts.com