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!
Hope Fregerio, Ceramic Artist
My work is about filling our dwelling space with texture, form, and pattern bringing ease to existence. Reflecting and collecting the chaos that swims around in the world around us into a refined and beautifully defined containment of space. Freeing up the space surrounding my work for simplicity and purity, the pieces become a resting place for the mind to explore the feelings of boldness, strength, and consistency.
What do I want to say with my work? That it’s okay to just be. Escaping from the chaos of life, from thoughts of the past and worries of the future. Making order out of disarray. Quality and consistency bring balance and harmony within one’s mind as well as a sense of rest and safety. All these qualities we think we need actually already dwell within us. It’s about recognizing their presence.
I work in stoneware for its suppleness, durability, and strength. Stoneware’s willingness to be transformed in form, size, and texture, makes it a perfect medium for exploring the iconic meaning of transformation and the concept of gratitude.
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/