Although Ellary Blair left a 30-year landscape career to open her own pottery business in 2002, one thing has remained the same: her hands are still in the mud. Now thriving as the owner of Ellie Pots Inc. (formerly Blair Pottery), Ms. Blair is responsible for the creation of artistic vases, bowls, tiles, plates, and bottles using crystalline and raku pottery. This includes designing, firing, cleaning, and glazing pieces. One of her favorite things about the job is experimenting. She likes to have multiple glazes on her pottery, so that when she opens her kiln, she sees a variety of color and knows what to reproduce and what not to. Ms. Blair is driven by her desire for perfection; if a piece has any flaw whatsoever, it will not leave her studio for showing, ensuring that her clients get the highest quality products.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Blair has attended a variety of pottery workshops and classes to enhance her skills and ensure she is up to date on all of the latest practices. Notably, she recently worked with master potters on crystalline glazes in Australia, Spain, and Brazil, which she feels has rounded out her career. She was also one of only 25 professionals who were invited to attend a workshop with world-renowned potter Bill Powell in Florida, and was honored to attend a workshop given by Fara Shinbo in Colorado, where she learned new methods of etching crystalline glazes with muriatic acid, lemon juice, or vinegar.
In addition to her pottery acumen, Ms. Blair is also an acclaimed artist in the genres of oils, watercolors, and pastels. Looking to the future, she hopes to expand her reach in these fields and sell more of her pottery and paintings. Ms. Blair intends to accomplish her goals through advertising campaigns and branding opportunities, as well as by continuing to expand her knowledge of the field. She already has work in the Phoenix Gallery in Missouri and the Abbey Lane Gallery in Colorado, and is accruing a strong reputation for excellence for her commission work. Aside from her company’s website, she also sells pieces through Etsy.
Ms. Blair prepared for her endeavors by earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in design from the University of Kansas in 2002, and by maintaining affiliation with The American Ceramic Society, the Potters Council, and NCECA, or the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. As a testament to her success thus far, she was a selected artist at the Orton Cone Box Show through NCECA in 2012, and an honoree as an upcoming new artist at the Lattice Structures Symposium in 2005.