“Wait! Don’t eat that yet!” she exclaims. “I haven’t finished drawing it.”
She quickly finishes her sketching and places the small notebook in her purse, signaling to her husband and son they now have permission to eat the lovely meal they have been eagerly anticipating. They are used to waiting. She often finds food inspiring and captures it in her notebook, using it as the subject for her next pottery creations in her home studio.
As a young girl, Ann Tubbs loved to draw and create things. This love for experimentation bloomed when, after graduate school, she accepted an adjunct professor position with a college in Connecticut teaching young artists the intricacies of ceramics.
“That is when I really began taking myself seriously as a potter,” Ann reminisced. “There were opportunities to go in other directions, but my feet seemed rooted in clay no matter how far the rest of me deviated in the search for a job.”
On a trip to France in the early 1990s, Ann discovered the intricate tiles in the Palais des Papes (the Pope’s Palace) in Avignon. She had already developed an interest in the maiolica process, a process that allows the artist to paint with brilliant, translucent colors on glazed pottery. While the Pope’s Palace tiles were not maiolica, they kindled a desire to experiment with the
historical technique that could allow her to combine her talents and interests into one art form.
“Maiolica seemed to engage a complex coming-together of skills that would, by necessity, engage all of my abilities,” Ann explains. “Even more intriguing, it would allow for visual double entendres and puns. I couldn’t resist.”
Ann not only experiments with color and form, she also works to refine the formulation of the clay and the firing process. Her greatest moments of inspiration tend to come from beautifully prepared food or the rainbow of vegetables that grow right outside of her studio. Her study of art history and other artisans also influence functional and sculptural pieces including teapots, pitchers, oil jars, and bowls.
“I often look at how other artists have solved the problems of space, color, and texture,” Ann says.
Her desire for a life of learning and experimentation have served her well as a teacher who loves to inspire the imagination. Her fascination with how people learn and how far she can stretch them in the learning process have kept her teaching through the years, including upcoming classes at the Adrian Center for the Arts.
“Art is so important because it helps people learn. Art helps children with critical thinking skills and empowers them to make decisions.” Ann explains. “If taught correctly, it gives them skills that are crucial for life.”
Ann, an award winning potter, never waits for inspiration in the studio. “You just start working and it will come,” she encourages. “The more you work, the more ideas you will have. It’s crucial to just get your hands working and then your mind relaxes and you will start to think of all sorts of ideas.”
She will bring her maiolica pottery and sculpture to Artalicious this fall and share her perspectives and techniques through demonstrations during the fine arts fair.