Bridgman Pottery is a one-woman show — a home-based business centered around fine ceramics for your table, your kitchen, your garden. I use porcelaneous stoneware, porcelain, underglazes, pure cobalt washes, and food-safe glazes for durability and safety.
My work is inspired by vintage treasures and the natural world around me. I love retro egg cups and cafe au lait bowls in sunny cheery colors, antique Japanese pottery, and Victorian transferware, especially the flow blue with its smudgy edges and running images that I seek to turn into contemporary objects of beauty and usefulness. Tumbled ocean rocks, the ever-changing clouds in the blue sky, birds' eggs in the springtime, and the beautiful plants in the Old Forest and rolling green of the Greensward at Overton Park make their way into my sketchbook and onto my pottery.
I am an avowed imperfectionist (which means that I'm a recovering perfectionist). You'll see some slightly out of round shapes, slight variation in glaze thickness, the occasional smudge or fingerprint that tell you that my very human hands made the objects you're using. To me, these imprefections give my work character and begin to tell a story of a full life, lived imperfectly, but with grace .
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Melissa Bridgman is an alumna of Salem College in Winston Salem, NC, where she spent time at Reynolda House Museum of Art and the Museum of Southern Decorative Arts, enriching her love of art, fine textiles and ceramics, and the folk traditions of North Carolina. She holds a Master's in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi, where she studied documentary fieldwork, art history, self-taught and folk art. She works as a teaching artist with the Memphis Brooks Museum, and has taught with the Center for Arts Education, formerly a component of Arts Memphis/Greater Memphis Arts Council. She is a full-time potter, part time gardener, bee-keeper, chicken-vangelist, and sketchbook keeper, as well as a wife and mother.
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