Laura Burgess 

Perhaps everyone's first foray into clay begins with a simple mud puddle in the backyard. After an inspirational college course in ceramics, I put away the clay for many years, pursuing other art forms, such as painting acrylic and oil painting, jewelry making, and the sewing crafts. It was not until, fed up with the stress of a corporate management position, that I sought relief and found it, naturally, in clay. I pursued a Ceramics Associate Degree at the New Hampshire Art Institute in Manchester, NH, and from that moment, began to slowly put together my studio while juggling family and work responsibilities. I taught handbuilding classes and helped to manage several studios in New Hampshire, and in New Bern, North Carolina. In 2019, I began to pursue a new career to "keep me out of trouble" upon retirement. I started Tidewater Tileworks, an artisan tile company. Now, I reside in paradise, otherwise known as Saint Augustine, Florida. My studio is complete and I am turning out tiles and other ceramic pieces from art tile to vessels and more.

Out of all the arts and crafts I have dabbled in, clay is the one form that I find most challenging. No matter your skill level in ceramics, the element of chance is always present. When you mix earth and fire, the results can be startling beautiful or heartbreakingly disastrous. Clay keeps me centered and focused on what is truly important in life. Nothing says love more than serving a meal on a handmade plate or drinking with friends out of handmade cups. I am honored to become part of the prestigious PAStA Gallery and look forward to meeting the wonderful people that make up this dynamic little city.