Artist finds purpose through pottery

By Ryan Ward | October 28, 2023


For Shandra Bjyrd, pottery is her purpose. It’s more than an art form, it’s a big part of her identity and it’s a therapeutic practice. 

She’s been a potter for 13 years and owns Bjyrd Ceramics in Madison where she creates pottery that has implied functions. 

“I like to make cups that look like the cups, bowls that look like the bowls,” said Bjyrd. “I really do enjoy making things that people interact with every day.” 

She doesn’t come into creating pottery with a plan, but rather trusting herself and getting into a flow and exploring. 

When she’s creating, she’s not thinking of anything in particular, instead describes that her mind and hands are a lot more connected.

“I am able to get in a state that’s just pure creation, flow is how I’ve heard it described,”  Bjyrd said. “Being able to get to that spot is one of the best feelings in the world.”

It’s the permanency that drives her to work with clay. 

“I’ve heard that once you fire something you’re in the fossil record for that area, and I think that’s true,” Bjyrd said. “I tell my students, especially when they are glazing, ‘make sure you take care of this it’s only gonna last forever, that’s all.’”

The end goal for Bjyrd is to open her own studio, at the edge of her property on a country road where she can make pottery, do workshops and create work that she can sell.  

“Pottery is my purpose. If ever there is something that I’m supposed to be doing her on earth, that is it. It’s home and it’s definitely been a savior for me as well,” Bjyrd said. “This is more than an art form for me, this is where I belong.” 

Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward

Ryan Ward is a producer for the “Wisconsin Life” project and can rest easy after he finally found the perfect jar of homemade dill pickles at the farmer’s market in Madison. … just like his Grandma Shirley use to make!
2023-10-30T08:47:33-05:00Tags: , , |

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