Erika Peterson - Ceramic Artist
Sometimes the clay tells you what it wants and, no matter how hard you try to ignore it, you're redirected despite your best efforts to resist the message you are receiving.
With a father as an architect and mother as a talented ceramist, making art was always an early love for me. As an only child, I spent a lot of my time, reading, making things and exploring my outside surroundings in my own yard and in the near by open spaces, creeks and parks of my native town of Walnut Creek, CA.
With the influence of two creative parents, my natural inclination was always swayed towards my strong point, art. So it's not wonder I left San Diego State with a BA in Graphic Design. Still all the new experiences of college, moving away from home and being on my own for the first time were not enough to settle my spirit. So within less then a year after graduation from SDSU, I found myself on the next journey and unexpectedly crashing into a consuming distraction, travel. I was struck with Wanderlust hard for the last half of my twenties and spent the better part of a year working and backpacking in Europe in 1995, and in New Zealand and Australia in 1998.
However, as they say. "all good things must come to an end". In 1999 after returning from my last year long trip I found myself in San Francisco. I moved into a communal art space, became connected with like mined people for the first time in my life, and was finally putting my art degree to use. Yes I was ready to settled in for the next adventure and pivotal chapter in my life. Exactly what I needed after my globe trotting ventures.
Slowly I began to explore other disciplines and was introduced to art communities I hadn't even considered or knew existed. I became part of a stilt walking troupe and learned to spin fire. I began taking classes at the Crucible, delving into neon, flame work and lost wax. I took other courses in jewelry making, PMC (Precious Metal Clay), mold making, and then finally clay. Learning and working with new and unconsidered mediums proved to be extremely rewarding, challenging and fun. All the while it also helped to continue a sense of adventure and the yearning pull that travel still had over me. Though nothing proved to really stick and remain in my life (other then the stilt walking), I continued to move forward with new experiences and opportunities.
Then in 2005 I received a Christmas gift from my partner that changed the course of my life. That gift was in the form of a set of tools and a wheel throwing class at Ruby’s Clay Studio & Gallery in the Castro. In early 2006 I took the first of many classes at Ruby's and from that moment forward I was hooked. I then left Ruby's for a time and spent several years at Skyline College studying ceramics. This was a time of real growth and exploration. It was during this time I found out that I had a knack for sculpting, a love for Raku and a destiny with tree like creatures and whales.
Things progressed, years passed and in 2015 I found myself back at Ruby's where I am now again a member of the studio, continuing my explorations in clay, while working as a freelance graphic designer. My current work continues to be whales and creature focused.
2008 - 2014
1991 - 1994
Skyline College, San Bruno CA
San Diego State University, San Diego CA
2010 - 2014
Ultramarine, Rare Device, San Francisco CA
Rising Water, Jay Mercado Studio, San Francisco CA
CCACA (California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art), Davis CA