Hope Fregerio // Creative Director, Designer & Ceramic Artist
It is very fulfilling to create something unique and offer it to the world.
My passion for pottery was born when I was in college with my first step into a pottery studio. The endless possibilities to create from the soul and the freedom to express oneself through shape and color and through skill and ability was what captivated my heart and has not let go for over 17 years. Stepping into the studio was like leaving fears, inhibitions, and preconceptions at the door and opened up a whole world of creation, expression, and connection that was nonjudgemental, accepting, loving, and welcoming.
My job now as an artist is to take a simple ball of clay, round and squishy, muddy and messy….and craft it into a beautiful creation of art that is useful and adds depth and beauty to someone’s daily life. I create to not only add fulfillment to my life, but also to the lives of others with the products I offer.
I throw all my pieces by hand using my potter’s wheel. For each order, I weigh out the correct amount of clay and throw them on my potter’s wheel, one at a time, transforming them from a lump of dirt into a mug, bowl, vase, etc. After the pieces have dried enough to be held and handled without losing their shape, I put them back on the wheel and trim the base, carve texture, add dots or stamps, and add handles. They are then allowed to dry for several days (usually a week). When I have enough pieces to fill my kiln, they are bisque fired, glazed, and then put back into the kiln for a second firing. The kiln is fired to such a hot temperature (2200 degrees F) that the glaze melts and flows and turns to the beautiful shiny and magical colors intended. After a 16 hour cooling period, I carefully unload the kiln and sand the bottoms of all my pieces smooth with a fine grit sandpaper so there are no rough spots; I don’t want my pottery scratching anyone’s table and I want it to feel smooth to the touch so you will enjoy holding it. I carefully box up each piece and take them to the post office where they begin their transit from my studio to your door step!
The RiverStone name has reference to my childhood as well as where I live today. Some of my earliest memories are of my parents packing up the family station wagon and heading off to the river cabin. Located on Lake Wylie, SC, we would spend our weekends playing along the river bank, fishing from the dock, waterskiing behind my Grandaddy’s boat, sitting in the rocking chairs on the screened in porch, cooking hamburgers on the charcoal grill and napping in the recliner or on the bed. I would walk along the riverbank, pick up river stones and put them in my pocket. I loved carrying those stones around with me and admiring them for their natural beauty. It made me feel connected to creation and to the earth just as I do as a potter.
Today my family lives on that same lake I used to visit so long ago as a little child. It holds such a special place in my heart and we are uncommonly blessed beyond measure to be able to enjoy such beautiful surroundings so intimately.
Professionally trained as an artist, I hold a BFA with a concentration in Ceramic Art from UNCC.
Inspired by the colors and shapes of the natural world, I often relate the glaze colors on my pieces to the organic inspirations around me: plants, trees, mountains, flowers, leaves, sky, fruits, vegetables, beaches, and lakes, and rivers. There is such an abundance of inspiration all around!
1997 – BFA, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
1997 – Penland School of Craft
2009 – Present | RiverStone Pottery Etsy store small business entrepreneur, selling worldwide, based in York, SC
2015 – 2016 | Creative Director, Ceramic Artist, RiverStone Studio & Gallery, Rock Hill, SC
2011 – Present | Instructor of Beginning Wheel and Handbuilding Class, RiverStone Pottery Studio & Gallery, Rock Hill, SC
2010 – Present | Online Etsy Shop CEO
2009 – 2016 | Studio Potter, Rock Hill, SC
1999 – 2009 | Studio Potter, Clover, SC
2004 – 2006 | Apprenticeship with John and Jan Myers, Hickory Grove, SC
1998 | Studio Potter, Fort Mill, SC
2013| Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festival Spring Sale, Charlotte, NC
2012 | Carolina Pottery Festival, Shelby, NC
2012| Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festival Fall Sale, Charlotte, NC
2012 | Come See Me Festival, Rock Hill, SC
2012| Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festival Spring Sale, Charlotte, NC
2011| Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festival Fall Sale, Charlotte, NC
2011| Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festival Spring Sale, Charlotte, NC
2011 | Hen House Holiday Art Sale, York, SC
2011 | Rock Hill Pottery Center Christmas Sale, Rock Hill, SC
2011 | Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden Autumn Faire, Belmont, NC
2010 | Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festival Fall Sale, Charlotte, NC
2010 | Rock Hill Pottery Center Christmas Sale, Rock Hill, SC
Shops and Galleries
2018 | Craft Fine Gifts and Art Studio, Elkhart, IN
2017 | Bespoke, Truckee, CA
2017 | Front Porch Market and Grill, Linden, VA
2017 | Joy Craft & Design, Springdale, UT
2017 | WISH Candle Company, Murrells Inlet, SC
2014 | Lark & Key, Charlotte, NC
2014 – Present | Santa Barbara Company, Santa Barbara, CA
2014 – Present | 32 Flavors Boutique, Charlotte, NC
2014 | Mona Gallery, Charlotte, NC
2014 | Santa Barbara Company, Santa Barbara, CA
2014 | True Nature Healing Arts, Carbondale, CO
2013 – Present | Seven Sisters Gallery, Black Mountain, NC
2012 – 2014 | Over the Moon Gallery, Floyd, VA
2011 – 2012 | FABO, Charlotte, NC
2011 – 2012 | Fast Frames Art Gallery, Charlotte, NC
2011 – 2012 | Gallery at Grove, Greenville, SC
2011 – 2012 | Plaza Muse, Charlotte, NC
2011 – Present | Ruby’s Gift, Charlotte, NC
2011 – Present | Brookgreen Gardens, Pawleys Island, SC
2010 – 2012 | Rock Hill Pottery Center Gallery, Rock Hill, SC
Aftosa’s December 2014 Featured Artist of the Month: http://www.aftosa.com/2014-aftosa-artist-gallery/
Want to see what’s keeping me busy on a daily basis in my pottery studio, with my family, or events I attend? You can see a lot of my inspirations, ideas and thoughts through photographs that I share online through Instagram and Facebook. This is where you will get to peek into my life and catch a glimpse behind the scenes of my work in my clay studio, my inspirations I find in my time with nature and with my family.
Follow my Facebook page
Follow me on Instagram: @hopethomasfregerio
As life continues to get busier and busier, I find myself thankful for Instagram and Facebook as an easy place to share and stay connected with you.
Please feel free to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments, questions, or if you would like to place an order!
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“The mug is absolutely beautiful. The craftsmanship is excellent, and so is the glazing. To make it even better, the mug had little details that I didn’t see in the original pictures, which made opening the mug that much better and such a welcoming surprise. Enough about the mug, the real gem here is the shop owner. She was awesome to custom glaze this beauty and kept me in the loop during the entire process. If my boyfriend sees another mug in our cabinet he may disown me, but it’s totally worth another mug from this stellar!! Cheers!! 🙂 ”
“Deserves 6 stars!! I bought this for a gift for my mom for mother’s day (from my kids). It’s gorgeous and the personalization is the icing on the cake. I know she’ll be in tears! The colors are lovely and the craftsmanship is wonderful. Will definitely be ordering more!! Thanks again!”
“I absolutely LOVE my set of bowls. They are a work of art and I am so in awe of the craftsmanship. I also received them in less than four days so that in itself is amazing. I will definitely be a repeat customer!”
“Once again, another beautiful piece by Hope. I can’t wait to give this to my mother for her birthday! The packing is done with extreme care and shipping is always prompt. Keep putting all your love & passion into your art, it’s wonderful Hope!”
“The sugar and creamer set with matching plate Hope made for me is absolutely gorgeous. A true artist. It took some time to get the order completed because her work is in high demand, but it was well worth the wait. Thanks so much and I look forward to doing business again.”
“The Honey Pot looks gorgeous with the casserole dish. I absolutely love both pieces. Thank goodness Mother’s Day is coming up so I have a reason to buy more.”
“Beautiful! I absolutely love it so much that I had to use it right away. I think I have a pottery addiction. Anytime I order from Hope and have questions she responds quickly and always has a solution! Thank you so much Hope for your patience and your craft.”
“So worth the wait. These are even more gorgeous in person, which is hard to believe because the pictures are so good! My morning coffee and nightly tea routines are enjoyed even more, thanks to these lovely mugs and honey pot. Hope is so very talented.”
“Really accommodating seller who found just what I wanted; very quick turnaround and planter was well packed. Now if I can find a very little elephant ear plant like hers! Am very happy with my purchase and would recommend RiverStone Pottery.”
“It’s one of my everyday cups, and a conversation piece. Thanks – looking forward to more.”
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