Maggie Black began making pots when she was just six, aided and abetted by an artist sister. She took several life detours before she returned to that early fascination with clay. Her first career, as a geologist, took her to the archipelago of Southern Chile and then to mapping bedrock in the Appalachian mountains of New Jersey. Then she turned to more people-oriented work, with jobs as an Ayurvedic massage therapist at Deepak Chopra's spa in Massachusetts and cooking for Michael Jackson and his guests at Neverland Ranch in California.
For the last twelve years she has again been happily absorbed by the process and creative challenges of making pottery. Classes with High Country potters Eric Reichard, Lucy Hamilton and Bob Meier helped refine her skills; her love of geology and nature continually add texture and nuance to her work.
Maggie lives in the woods of Foscoe, NC with her husband, wood-worker Bucky Black, and their two sons. "The best part of my job", she says, "is walking through our woods at different times of the year, choosing the leaves and natural objects that inspire my designs". The influence of place and the natural world is easily recognized in her work. Stoneware Vases incorporating Gingko and Maples leaves, Vessels carved with delicate bumblebees or the distinctive profile of Craggy Grandfather Mountain, Queen Anne's Lace slab vases, leaf candle holders, Orchid bowls slip-trailed with dragonflies, and Raku Pots enhanced with jolts of melted glass fill her shelves.
Maggie's pottery has gained an enthusiastic audience at galleries state-wide and at juried craft and music festivals. For the last ten years she has also been teaching in the same program where she developed her skills, the ASU Craft Enrichment program www.craftenrichment.appstate.edu.
Recently, Maggie moved her home studio to her brand-new gallery, Maggie Black Pottery, at Shops at Mill Ridge on Highway 105 in Banner Elk, NC. Here she may be found throwing pots on her wheel in the back of the upstairs gallery, or downstairs, glazing and firing. "Watching the work actually being made", said one enthusiastic collector recently, "is just such a pleasure. It's a real bonus when I visit the gallery".