Julie Burt Hawthorne says, "From a very early age I remember encouragement to create on all levels - - painting, quilting, music-making, sculpting purple and green frosted cakes -- always keeping the creative juices flowing."
Born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Julie received an early education in sculpture and drawing at the Cranbrook Arts Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In 1976, after moving to Oregon with husband Chris Hawthorne, she fell in love with clay and set up her own ceramics studio. She studied under Carol Vernon, John and Andrea Gill, Richard Notkin and Paul Soldner.
During the 1980's Julie and Chris traveled to Pilchuck Glass School in Washington and became very excited by glass.
"After years of working in hot and fused glass, and with our children now in school, it brings me great pleasure to devote all my time to my first real love: soft, cool, moist, sensual clay."
Julie now creates large asymmetrical sculptural forms made most often from coils and slabs rolled by hand with minimal wheel throwing. Surface textures are rolled or pounded into the clay. "My work reflects contemporary images of the human form and body language. My pieces are completed while wet, sprayed primarily with a simple three or four part glaze, and fired once."
"Coming from what I call deep country," Julie says, "I find inspiration in that most natural of creatures, the chicken. I don't believe one can be around a chicken and not laugh." Recently, she's created ceramic horses and bulls. "I always wanted to be a cowboy's sweetheart," she grins, "and this is my way of sharing that excitement."