An early brush with creativity and the encouragement that followed has stayed in Tori Motyl’s mind since she made a slab plate in elementary school. “It was green and cracked and pretty terrible, looking back,” she says, “but my teacher held it up against the wall and told me that someday she would see my work in a museum. I never forgot how inspiring and influential that moment was and how important it is to pass on that type of encouragement to my students.”
Motyl started her own pottery business out of her parents’ basement in Rochester, NY, and received help from her whole family in her endeavor. She moved to Asheville in 2014 to further her pottery career, joining The Village Potters Clay Center and, with other artists, establishing the North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival. With a nod to the support and encouragement she received years ago, she teaches a variety of classes for potters at different levels.
She enjoys digging and processing her own clay and plans work based on the properties of the clay she finds. “Moving into wild clay has completely changed my relationship with my art,” she says. “Now I view my art as an expression of the clay itself and how I, as the artist, discover the unique properties of each clay I dig and create work that leans into those properties.”
Motyl Pottery is located at The Village Potters Clay Center in Riverview Station, 191 Lyman Street, #180. To learn more, visit MotylPottery.com, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, or call 585.507.5731. Find Motyl’s work locally at The Village Potters Clay Center and other galleries and retail locations.