Artist of the Month: Christina Bendo
Christina Bendo grew up helping her parents grow food in the rich red clay soil of Virginia. It seems a natural progression that she now works in a craft that uses the same raw materials needed to grow food to make objects used to serve it. After earning her B.A. at the University of Mary Washington, she went on to complete a three-year assistantship with potter Trista Chapman. She has been a resident at LibertyTown Arts Workshop, the International Ceramics Studio in Hungary, STARworks Ceramics, the North Carolina Pottery Center, and Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. Her work has been featured on gallery pedestals and kitchen tables in the US and abroad. In 2019 Christina opened her own studio in downtown Waynesville, North Carolina. When she isn’t making pots, Christina enjoys cooking and going on adventures with her fiance and their son.
My pots are a study in the contrast between everyday ritual and the constant change that surrounds us. How do Sunday dinner, an afternoon walk, or a clay form repeated, respond to the shifting of external and internal seasons over time? In early spring my step lightens on the trail. One week I see early blue cohosh and trilliums. Next week the ramps wave their green flags to me. I make pie plates in the studio while thinking of stinging nettle quiche and the coming strawberry harvest. I imagine the potters who made amphorae while thinking of the coming grape harvest, thousands of years before me. To everything there is a season, and these objects hold power to make permanent that which is fleeting. A mug of tea commemorates the migration of a warbler; a serving tray holds the memory of the best asparagus harvest the garden ever produced, shared by candlelight with friends. I seek to make pots that are imbued with these ephemeral moments, telling stories of the cycles of nature and the changing seasons of our lives.