February Featured Artist: Gwyneth Manley

Gwyn has been an artist at Perks of Art since October and we have loved displaying her unique ceramic pieces and more recently, her chainmail jewelry. I had the pleasure of spending the morning at Gwyn’s home studio to talk about her artistic journey and observe her creative process as our first Featured Artist!

After growing up on the central California coast and graduating from Cal State Fullerton last year, Gwyneth is excited to be living in the Northwest with an apartment surrounded by pine trees. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in General Studio Arts which allowed her the creative freedom to explore a variety of mediums where she eventually found a fondness for ceramics. All of Gwyn’s pieces are crafted fully by hand (much to my surprise, as I was under the impression ceramics were always created on a wheel) and I was thrilled to observe as she fashioned a tiny shot glass, adorned with a button and all, from a flat slab.

Gwyneth has a very organic process; her toolbox is filled with pinecones, bits of coral and an array of doilies – all of which she uses to add interesting texture to her pieces. She says, besides the backside of a specific paintbrush, her favorite tool is her hands.

While ceramics is a relatively new craft, Gwyn has been creating chainmail jewelry since she was a teenager. Her mother, Karly, was a beader and encouraged her to explore the arts by purchasing her a chainmail jewelry kit prior to a trip they took together. When her mother passed away 6 years ago, Gwyn was once again drawn to the craft as an outlet for grieving and a way to remain connected. She says her mother plays a huge role in her journey as an artist. 

Gwyneth continues to grow as an artist through her relationships with other artists and through social media. She has met many other ceramicists at the St. John’s Clay Collective where she uses their facilities to complete her pieces and enjoys observing other processes as well as presenting her own.

She also uses social media for inspiration and says when something sparks her interest, she first duplicates the piece to understand how it’s created and then, using the metaphor of a recipe, she makes alterations (more chocolate chips, less cinnamon) to mold it to her style.

She is also exploring the business aspect of the art world and finds guidance through other artists and their online presence. Currently she promotes through Instagram, sells on her website, and displays at Perks of Art. Her unique pieces are such an incredible addition to our shop, and we are so thankful Gwyneth has allowed us to take part in her artistic journey. We encourage each of you to browse her beautiful pieces and support a lovely local artist!

Reach Gwyneth at:

Gwynethmanley_art (Instagram)