To her memory, Tara Underwood has nearly always worked with clay.
She traces her beginnings to her early childhood in Nashville, Tennessee, where she began creating pottery with neighborhood friends. Intuitively, they would bake their vessels in the sun, painting them with whatever paint was available.
From there, Tara worked hard to refine her craft, first in night classes and later in college. Eventually, Tara’s path would lead her to Asheville, North Carolina, whose thriving arts community inspired her three years ago to pursue her ceramic work fulltime as a member of a co-op studio space in Asheville.
Tara continues to explore and refine her making process: she mixes her own glazes, and finishes each piece by hand, giving even her wheel-thrown pots a distinctive, freeform quality. Through her process, Tara works to realize and express her ideas, inspirations and influences, citing traditional Japanese pottery—in particular its simplicity and celebration of the imperfections of handmade pieces— as a major inspiration.
First and foremost, however, Tara seeks to emulate the spontaneity of children’s artwork and the freedom of her own earliest creations. Her pieces celebrate the natural beauty of daily ritual and the intuitive, personal role pottery plays in those moments.