Generally speaking, my work is definitely inspired by Mother Nature. My preference is always for the outdoors, and some of my fondest memories are of interactions with the earth and all its majesty. It seems I am as impressed by the shadow of a leaf floating on a pool in the stream as I am by the sunset over the Pacific, so I tend to record the close-up intimately experienced aspects of my environment. I deliberately suggest situations, using colors that are rich and subtle, hoping the viewer will fill in the details with his or her own experiences in the natural world; thus making my work their own, and preserving the more and more rare moments in our stay on the planet.
— Teresa

Originally from White Sulphur Springs, WV, Teresa Cole is a 1972 graduate of Berea College where she was a charter apprentice in the College’s ceramics apprenticeship program. After graduating, she operated private and shared studios in TN & NC, returning to Berea, KY in 1980. Since then she has worked as a studio potter in Berea. Teresa is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen, the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program.

Teresa specializes in functional pottery that is oven, dishwasher, and microwave safe. She is especially adept at designing for function and using colored clay slips and terra sigallata sprayed, brushed and trailed onto the surface of her pieces. Teresa looks to nature for her imagery and often depicts ferns and flowers on her works. Her tiles are made by hand-cutting rolled out slabs of clay. She decorates them by pressing actual leaves into the clay surface. To show these plant forms in silhouette, she lightly sprays white slip over the pressed leaf and tile. When she removes the leaf from the clay, the image is left clearly visible on the red-brown clay.

In 1996, she moved into her current workshop/home hidden away in the hills 12 miles east of town. This studio that Teresa designed and mostly built herself, with occasional help from friends and neighbors, is a place where she is truly at home: Cedar Meadow Studios. 

Two or three days a week she goes into town to serve as shopkeeper in a retail gallery she shares with two other local artists, Gallery 103. Seventy percent of her production is sold through this small shop. Teresa also sells her work wholesale to various other shops and galleries around the country, and exhibits at 2-4 craft fairs each year.

Teresa’s works can be seen at her showroom, Gallery 103 on Short Street on the College Square, Berea, KY;  the Appalachian Artisan Center , Hindman, KY; the Folk Art Center of the Southern Highland Craft Guild on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville NC; and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.

Click the images below to view details of Teresa at work:

Want more? Watch this short film about Teresa and her pottery making process:

The above video was filmed at Teresa's showroom, Gallery 103, and her home studio in fall of 2003.