Number 7 Arts, a cooperative gallery in downtown Brevard, offers holiday shopping with its latest members’ show Favorite Things, which includes small works, jewelry, gift cards and limited-edition ornaments celebrating things that are special to the gallery’s artists. The show runs through the end of the year, giving shoppers an opportunity to find new pieces by their longtime favorite gallery artists as well as work by its two newest members, Tia Wilks and Olivia Maddix.
“These new potters are so fun,” says member artist Laurie Davis. “Their work is fresh, completely different from one another and so colorful.”
For the exhibit, Wilks created mugs and other dishes imprinted with items from the forest, and ornaments in the shapes of trees, snowflakes and dog bones. Texture is a dominant feature in her work, and she utilizes a variety of found objects to create it.
“My tools are ever-changing, as I discover that an imprinted interior of a walnut shell creates a unique and perfect heart or I trade out my rolling pin for a log, leaving a beautiful bark texture on the clay,” she says.
Wilks’ love of the natural world is evident through her use of these materials as well as her tendency to use earth tones. In fact, her fondness of the outdoors and her passion for adventurous learning are what drew her to clay in the first place.
“Growing up, every opportunity I found to wander my family’s farm in search of rocks or wade the creek with mud squishing between my toes solidified that integral element in me,” says Wilks. “Becoming a potter was inevitable.”
Maddix began working with clay 12 years ago, as a high-schooler. She returned to the medium in 2020 as an escape from the stresses of the pandemic.
“You can only make sourdough bread for so long,” she says. “I remembered foundational techniques from back in school and taught myself how to decorate, glaze and fire my work.”
Her pieces feature the contrast between bright, mod glaze colors and exposed clay patterns. All are wheel thrown and hand painted. A wide variety of shapes, colors and styles are designed to form a collection when displayed together.
For Favorite Things, Maddix created new designs including ornaments decorated with mushrooms, strawberries and her personal favorite, a fried egg.
“I love how playful these designs are and I have even made mugs to match,” she says. “These whimsical pieces make great gifts for people of all ages.”
Number 7 Arts is located at 2 West Main Street in Brevard. Hours are Monday–Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12–4 p.m. Learn more at Number7Arts.org.