Artist of the Week: Inspired by nature to create pottery.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Hohn

Laura Hohn stands in her studio amid the wheel-thrown, hand-built stoneware she creates. Music filters into the space from the nearby farmers’ market. Her art depicts the natural world in the form of leaves and ripples on the vases, plates, and mugs.

 Most of her work is functional, designed to be useful as well as beautiful, but she also does some sculpture. Her dishware, serving platters, and wine chillers are food sale, lead-free, and can be used in the microwave, oven, and dishwasher and are intended for daily use, but will last a lifetime with proper care.

Laura frequently walks or runs along the Missouri River just outside her studio at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, and this connection with the water finds a way into her work. 

“I want to go somewhere that is peaceful and process what I did for the day,” she says. “I just find it calming.” 

Laura grew up just across the Illinois border in O’Fallon, and that meant frequent trips across Mississippi River bridges. Her fascination with the movement of rivers manifests itself in her art. One series of her pottery, for example, features water currents. 

She credits her grandmother and mother for her artistic career. Her grandmother was a painter and exposed her to much art at a young age. Her fascination with clay began as a young child, at the age of nine, when her mother bought her a bag of clay and a book on basic ceramic techniques. She was instantly hooked.

She took classes in various art media throughout childhood and during high school, and when she entered college, she knew she wanted to make a life out of her passion for art. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and an emphasis in ceramics. 

After graduation, she worked for two years as a potter’s apprentice, learning the ins and outs of a working studio. In 2006, she petitioned and was accepted as a resident juried artist of the Foundry Art Centre. 

Today, she is a full-time studio potter and travels throughout the Midwest selling her work at art fairs. She has received Honorable Mention at The Queeny Park Art Fair and an Award of Excellence at Midwest Salute to the Arts. She was also recently selected as a Best of Missouri Hands Juried Artist, and the Best Emerging Artist by the St. Louis Art Fair.

Laura particularly enjoys watching people interact with the pieces. The happiest part of the experience comes when a customer takes a piece of Laura’s functional art home to make memories using it.

See more of Laura’s work here.