Hello, I’m Juni Margrie and I’m a potter based in Louisville, Colorado.
I draw, design and make my wares out of a co-op studio in historic downtown Louisville that I share with 14 other wonderful creative artists. Our group is called ‘ClayArt’. The studio has grown out of our love of doing pottery and sculpture with friends.
My journey to ceramics was not a conventional one. My background is actually in aerospace engineering. I studied and later lectured at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia where I’m originally from. In 2008 we left home and began travelling to live, work and experience other cultures. Our first landing place was Dordrecht, The Netherlands, where a 1-2 year stint turned into 6 and a half wonderful years. It was there that I started to appreciate the beauty and skill of ceramic arts when my town was host to the annual Keramiekmarkt weekend. However, at this stage I was still just an observer and happy to appreciate from a distance.
It wasn’t until we moved on to Savannah, Georgia in 2015 that I decided to take the plunge and enrol in a 6 week class and truly fell in love with clay. Here was something that enabled me to work tactilely (which was a relief from the previous ‘thinking’, or rather, ‘overthinking’ I was doing) to create something beautiful yet functional that we incorporate in our daily routines. I learned a lot about the basic fundamentals of throwing, hand building and glazing from Lisa Bradley at Savannah’s Clay Spot and would spend as many hours in her studio as possible in the 2.5 years we lived in Savannah. It was in Savannah that I started to seek opportunities to showcase ceramic arts within our communities through projects such as bringing handmade ceramics to restaurant tables and being part of the Savannah Clay Community’s organization team for SIP – A Ceramic Cup Show.
My current passion is to create functional pieces from porcelain and decorate them using a traditional Korean technique known as mishima, where an illustration is carved by hand into the clay and in-filled with clay of a different type or color. My designs are mostly botanically themed such as lemons, oranges, cherry blossoms, florals, birds and bees. I then add color accents to the illustrations with underglazes. I also enjoy using red stone and speckled clays and carve designs into them that allow the glaze to pool or break over the different textures.
Most of my pieces are wheel-thrown but I also enjoy hand building slab pieces. Probably because of my engineering background, my preference tends to be in making utilitarian pieces with good design principles. I like the idea of my pieces being used, handled, on a daily basis.