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 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 doorstep!
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!