Bridge of Hope Pottery Studio

Robbie Hopwood is a ceramic artist working with a mid-fire porcelain-type clay, in a private studio, at her home in Mesa, AZ. She does both functional/utilitarian and sculptural work. 

Robbie has had several of her pieces of work showcased in print venues. The 2013 Potters Council Calendar, a juried collection of food and functional items, shows 3 of her stacked pouring bowls for the month of January. In 2012 Coyote Clay & Color, in New Mexico, purchased a bowl from her for their private collection. It has since been used in their ads in the Mar/Apr 2013, pg 7, issue of Pottery Making Illustrated and the May 2013, pg 82, issue of Ceramics Monthly. The bowl has been on display at their NCECA booth and also used in several promotional brochures. 

She had 2 pieces accepted into her first juried show in May 2015 at WHAM gallery in Surprise, AZ. 

Robbie spent a year at Stephens College, 1967-1968, in Columbia, MO. Between a scholarship and some work study, her financial needs were met, but only 2 art classes per semester were not enough to feed her soul. She next spent a year at Rhode Island School of Design, 1970-1971, where unlimited art classes became her daily diet. Finances, or lack of, did not allow for more than a year at R.I.S.D. So off she went to work – investing 30 years in the printing trade and 15 years in the A/C business, never to return to college again. But since 1994 when she moved to Arizona, the Mesa Arts Center had temporarily filled the void and became a 2nd home. 

Robbie Hopwood was born in Lawrence, KS and has since lived in Texas, Michigan, Vermont and Connecticut, before moving to Arizona in 1994 with her husband Gary. He built the studio for her in 2010, all while going through his chemo treatments, knowing that she had always wanted one to call her own. Unfortunately, he never saw it completed, but just know that everything associated with the studio has been predicated on a labor of love. 

Robbie Hopwood

Artist Statement of Robbie Hopwood: 

The itch to create out of clay started in my high school art class – when I was first introduced to the potters’ wheel.That was about 50 years ago; and after a 30 year career in printing and 15 years in the A/C business, I am finally realizing a dream. Over the years I’ve done a lot of looking at pots and buying of pots – and now it’s my time at “hands on” – getting to assuage that itch that never left me! 

The majority of my work is functional ware, made using the potters’ wheel and porcelain-type clay.The glazes are all commercial, fired in an electric kiln, in an oxidizing atmosphere, to cones 5 and 6. I have about 90 glazes…and that’s because I’m always testing new color combinations…seeking to find that next great “planned accident”. 

Most of my experience has been with reduction fired glazes, in a wood or gas kiln. So, in my mind, I am always comparing the final glaze results – hoping to narrow the chasm between oxidation and reduction colors. I am limited to commercial glazes due to the size of my 150 square foot studio, where I have no room for storage of large bags of chemicals. So it’s always a challenge when opening the kiln, to find out if my pots look like Halloween or Christmas!