Meet the Artist & Teacher
One of the most important things you could do as a parent is to nurture your child's natural nature. Children don't always recognize their own talents, even though they may pursue them instinctively.
My first recollection of making art was in kindergarten. I remember bringing a painting home of the potato people, out of all things, and proudly presenting it to my mom and dad.
My mom loved it so much that she framed it and placed, what she thought to be the masterpiece of all masterpieces above her bed.
In Third grade as I was sitting in an old church that was converted into a schoolhouse the phone rang, it was the principal. He asked the teacher if she would bring me to his office. Hmmm... I followed my teacher as she escorted me to the office. As we got closer she took a sharp turn torward the gymnasium. When she opened the door the entire school was sitting in the gymnasium as well as the chief of police, photographers from the local paper, and my mom!!
I didn't get caught after all planting corn on the baseball field. Unless, this was going to be my hard lesson to learn through a humiliating public display. Shortly after, they called my name and announced that I had won first place in the Crime prevention poster contest. I walked up to the front of the gym. The chief of police handed me a trophy and a certificate with my name on it as well as a $10 dollar check to boot! After the ceremony the photographer took my picture and by the weekend I was published in the Tenino Independent Newspaper for the first time as an artist!
I participated in many more art contests and my mom found a local painter in town and would drive me to my lessons every Saturday. Later I would graduate with an Associates in Art and leave my small town and move to Seattle.
My first job was a freelance illustrator for a small publishing company. Eventually I was hired full-time and I would be the Jill of all trades in the publishing arena....paste-up artist, typesetter, illustrator, darkroom assistant etc. etc. After working in this industry for a few years, trying to meet crazy deadlines and taking orders from Creulla Deville, I decided this wasn't for me. I went to a employment agency looking for something different, something not as cut-throat as the publishing industry.
They found me a job at the opposite end of the creative spectrum...a secretarial position. Little did I know at the time, this would be my career for many years to come.
Fortunately, your true nature has a way of creeping up to the surface, which it often did throughout my working career. No matter if you are 30 or 50, my advice is to listen. Thankfully, I had a loving, nurturing foundation to fall back on. I can travel back as a little girl in that gymnasium and see my biggest fans cheering me on, my teacher and my mom, and know I've got this. I always had it.
I opened Stephanie Burton Studios in 2017! I am excited to be offering Clay classes, Glaze classes, Mixed Media classes, Visiting Artists and a variety of Workshops.
About the Artist and Teacher:
Stephanie Burton has an Associate’s degree in Art and has worked in Ceramics for over 20 years. She has taught ceramics at several schools locally as well as internationally. She helped organize an Artist Delegation to travel to El Salvador to teach impoverished children ceramics in Tierra Blanca and Ciudad Romero.
Stephanie's new endeavor is Mixed Media. After a very loud calling she finally picked up a pencil and brush and started to draw and paint again. "Sometimes our blessings come to us in very unexpected packages and It's up to you whether or not you want to listen."
Stephanie teaches adult community ceramic classes at Georgies in Portland, Oregon. She also teaches Ceramics and Mixed Media classes and workshops from her home studio in Vancouver, Washington. Stephanie participates annually at the Ceramic Showcase in May, the Chehalem Mountain Art Affair in July and will be participating in Clark County Open Studios in November.
additional tid bits
WHY DO YOU MAKE ART?
Because this innate force inside commands me to!
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
Country road trips, traveling to awesome places, perusing the internet, all the talented amazing artists that
I am surrounded by...
WHAT COMPELS YOU TO TEACH?
I love sharing my craft.
WHEN YOUR ARE FEELING FRUSTRATED, HOW DO YOU GO TO THAT "ZEN PLACE"?
I find my kitty "Zeke", give him some lovins and instantly, his calming purr takes me there!
NAME A FEW OF YOUR HEROS
Plamen (my partner) he brought my dream to fruition. He built me a beautiful art
studio and much, much more!
My mom, Cheryl who has ALWAYS been there for me no matter what and has ALWAYS nurtured my creative side :)
Frida Kahlo who totally kicked ass as an tenacious women and artist despite her chronic health challenges. She expressed her suffering through her paintings. Frida was viewed
as an icon of female creativity especially for her time!!
WHAT EVENTUALLY LAUNCHED YOU BACK INTO MAKING ART?
I worked for Will Vinton at Will Vinton Studios as his Assistant and was surrounded by clay artists. I felt very displaced and knew I needed to be playing in their camp. After, a big layoff at the Studio, I enrolled in a Ceramics class and never looked back.
WHAT FINALLY PROPELLED YOUR TO BUILD YOUR STUDIO AND TAKE THE PLUNGE AND TEACH FROM HOME? Breast cancer. I found my inner strength, beat cancer and had nothing left to fear!
CURRENTLY, WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
I was recently diagnosed with lymphedema in my dominant hand and arm, which is a side effect of breast cancer if you have undergone various treatments. I'm not able to do things at the level that I use to. Doing too much can cause irreversible damage. So, learning to find my new normal and modifying my routine has been my biggest challenge.
WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST
Not being able to use my hands!
WHAT ARE YOUR MOST THANKFUL FOR?
LATELY, WHO DO YOU LISTEN TO THE MOST?