Meet the Artist SPOTLIGHT: Lucy Fagella

Meet the Artist SPOTLIGHT: Lucy Fagella

Since Pinch’s founding in 1979, we’ve been staunch supporters of independent artisans. We are constantly inspired by artists all over the country (and those close to home) who pursue their creative visions and help enhance the world with their work. Our shop is an homage to the beautiful and the odd, and we are endlessly grateful to curate a space so filled with charming, handcrafted goods.

To show our gratitude for the people who help us make that possible, we’ve launched a SPOTLIGHT series to take you behind the scenes of our beloved artists' studios, interviewing them about their processes and featuring photos of their workspaces—bringing you right into the brilliant center of their creativity!

In this edition of the series, we talk to local potter Lucy Fagella. Lucy's work had been in the shop since 2010; her soft glazes are eye-catching and her smooth lines are a pleasure to hold. Jena loves visiting Lucy's home studio to view new work: "It's a beautiful studio in a beautiful house!" How fitting for the birthplace of such fine ceramics. 

You can find Lucy's work along the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail this weekend (April 28 & 29), and you'll always find a well-stocked selection in our shop!

We hope you'll enjoy getting to know this wonderful artist!

Lucy Fagella by Rikki SnyderPinch: How did you get into pottery?
Lucy Fagella: I was taking quite a few art classes in high school, knowing I wanted to be an artist. Senior year came and my printmaking teacher was let go due to budget cuts. I had an opening in my schedule and filled it with a pottery class. I knew the very first day I sat at that potter’s wheel that it was what I wanted to do!
P: What’s your favorite aspect of working with clay?
LF: My favorite part of working with clay is working on the wheel. There is a physicality about it, yet at the same time, a quiet contemplative nature to it. It is the one aspect of my work where I quickly get “in the zone.” 
P: What does a typical day in your studio look like?
LF: I have learned after 17 years of doing this work full time that I need to take care of my body. So my day starts with yoga, and walking a couple of miles with the dogs. I have finally learned that this is part of my work day, and not something extra. My studio time consists of 7-9 hours a day… in no special order, whatever is most needed each day:

  • Throwing and glazing pots.

  • Photographing my work for my website and social media.  

  • Shipping and packing pottery from website sales. 

  • Website maintenance and email correspondence 

  • A couple of nights a week I teach pottery classes.

P: You make really beautiful cremation urns – what moved you to begin doing so?

LF: I began to make cremation urns because people kept asking me to make them. When my parents died, I saw what was available through funeral homes, and realized that something needed to be done about the dismal choices. I truly feel called to help people through the difficult time of losing a loved one, by creating something beautiful.
P: You also teach pottery – what are some of the things you love about teaching?
LF: Teaching is something that I have always enjoyed since I graduated from college. It is just so much fun to see students experience something so new to them. Making pottery on the wheel is so challenging. It feels good to see students “get it” and to see them grow as budding hobby potters.
P: Who did/do you learn from? 
LF: My first pottery teacher was a big teddy bear of a guy who made big pots. He set me on my way. I went to Alfred University College of Ceramics in New York state. My teachers/mentors there were Val Cushing, Wayne Higby, and Tony Hepburn. For the business end of the pottery I learned quite a bit from the late Angela Fina, who was a local treasure. I continue to learn all the time from fellow potters and from my students.
P: What inspires you?
LF: My inspiration comes from nature. I spend as much time as I can outdoors in the woods, the garden, and on my bike. I really think all the shades of green in my pottery come from this.

P: What can we expect from you next? Any new designs or glazes on the horizon?
LF: I changed my clay body this past year from porcelain to stoneware. My work is slowly evolving and changing because of this. Stoneware reacts very differently to my touch, forms can be more exaggerated, so there are some large wide rimmed bowls that are new. Also some pale blue colors are new, they seem to be working quite well on the stoneware.

{All images courtesy of Lucy's website}