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.  During that time she also formed a partnership with Randi Solin, a Brattleboro glassblower, and their joint venture, Fulcrum Arts, now inhabits a building of its own.

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.

 

Handmade, sgraffito-carved ceramic wall tile by Natalie Blake

Handsculpted, sgraffito-carved tile mural

handmade, carved, ceramic vessel by Natalie Blake

Divided States, hand thrown, carved, ceramic vessel

 

She 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 solo traveled 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.

She has won many awards and national media attention for her work, as well as inclusion in several museum permanent collections. Her work is exhibited widely throughout the continental United States, as well as New Zealand and Australia and has shown in Hawaii, London and Anguilla, West Indies.

Based in the small New England arts town of Brattleboro, Vermont, Natalie’s studio is part of Fulcrum Arts Center, a collaboration between Natalie Blake and Randi Solin (Solinglass).  FulcrumArts Center 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.

making ceramic tiles at Natalie Blake Studios

Natalie carving a tile mural

Natalie has won many awards and national media attention for her work, as well as inclusion in several museum permanent collections.  In 2011 Natalie was selected from among 600 applicants to create work for installation throughout the Chabot College campus, Hayward, CA.

making tiles at Natalie Blake Studios

Cynthia laying tiles on molds

Her work is exhibited widely throughout the continental United States, as well as New Zealand and Australia and has shown in Hawaii, London and Anguilla, West Indies.

handmade, ceramic vessels by Natalie Blake

Natalie throwing a pot