Life is beautiful, fragile, and short. I love working with earthenware clay and porcelain, although it can be very fragile. I think about the 2,000-year-old Chinese Terracotta Warriors, which were discovered in the 1970s. It gives me hope to know it’s possible one of my fragile sculptures could be unearthed someday long after I’m gone. Each one of my unique pieces is influenced and created from an encounter with someone I’ve met briefly, or someone I know personally. I often carry my sketch pad with me wherever I go, so I can quickly draw an interesting mouth, nose, or pair of eyes to be used in my work. I have also, with permission, taken photos of people to use one or two of their facial features. I am excited and challenged daily when I am in my studio creating work.
Janet Watkins is a self taught artist. Her career began just a few years ago after retiring from a 30 year career in banking. As an artist, she enjoys working with several mediums including earthenware clay, stoneware, porcelain, mosaic, and glass. Each one of her hand-built pieces are uniquely whimsical and beautifully detailed. She was a panel speaker during the National Ceramic (NCECA) Conference. She is a member of Women of Visions Organization, and a member of the Craftman’s Guild of Pittsburgh. Many of her larger sculptural pieces have been exhibited in galleries including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Wilmer Jennings Gallery NYC, University of Pittsburgh Fine Art Gallery, Society of Contemporary Craft BYN, August Wilson Gallery, Moka Gallery, Kelly Strayhorn Art Gallery, Sewickley Library Art Gallery, Pittsburgh Center Arts & Media Gallery, and Touchstone Gallery.