“It’s more about giving back to the community and helping in all the ways I can. That's where I am right now,” said.
The artisan has displayed her pieces in shows from Hawaii …
For ceramics artist Linda Collins Chapman, pottery is more than just a passion; it’s a daily pursuit that she’s developed for over four decades.
“It’s more about giving back to the community and helping in all the ways I can. That's where I am right now,” Collins said.
The artisan has displayed her pieces in shows from Hawaii to Washington D.C., with buyers adding her art to their collections on four separate continents. She may be a master ceramics artisan at this stage, but every expert started as a beginner at some point, and Collins Chapman’s story of ceramic success is partially one of circumstance.
She grew up in a household of artists, musicians, and educators, and learned to paint and play classical music from a young age.
“I played with symphonic band as freshman [in high school],” Collins Chapman said. “The music definitely was my life because both my mom and dad were musicians.”
One relative that impacted her artistry in a big way was her grandfather who was a painter, Collins Chapman said. Beyond painting, her grandfather was also a pottery collector.
“He always collected Pueblo pottery in the Southwest,” she said. Collins Chapman recalled the “interesting designs” that piqued her curiosity in ceramics as a child.
As she continued to develop her artistry and musical prowess in adolescence, Collins Chapman was eventually dealt a difficult decision for which branch of the arts to pursue at the professional level.
“I had to decide in college whether to be musician or artist,” she said.
After much deliberation, she favored the artist path, and enrolled at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1969. She excelled in college and learned a great deal about painting and drawing, but her aspirations to continue were jeopardized after she couldn’t get into an upper-level course, because there were no spots left.
“I got closed out of an upper-level course, and the only thing that fit in my schedule was a ceramics class,” Collins Chapman said.
Little did she know, this decision would shape her career and lifetime pursuit as a master of pottery. From that class, she found her true niche in ceramics.
After continuing to evolve her work in pottery and other forms of art, Collins Chapman graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
“In the meantime I was married and started a family,” she said.
She started her business Linda Chapman Design in 1976 shortly after graduating college, and she still owns and operates the business to this day.
Part of her decision to open her own business stemmed from the desire to work independently, and to hone in on her craft away from any distractions.
“My practice is by myself I treasure that,” she said.
Working solo and developing her skillset proved successful for Collins Chapman, as she started to gain prestige for her incredible pottery and sculptures.
Her art pieces were displayed in countless craft shows from the Denver Art Museum to the Smithsonian, with buyers around the world lining up to add her pieces to their own collections.
She moved her business from Colorado to Hawaii to Sequim where she currently works on new pieces.
While living in Hawaii, she discovered a love for teaching others that, perhaps, originated from her history of educators in the family.
“I taught at private school in Kauai, [Hawaii],” Collins Chapman said. “I learned more from those little kids than they did with me. I always learned something new from them, and that is the beauty of it.”
Later on in life, she’s found the most fulfillment from teaching her skills to others and giving back to the community.
Collins Chapman is involved in many local art groups such as the Olympic Peninsula Art Association, where she helps raise money for art school scholarships to give to budding artists on the Peninsula.
“It’s more about giving back to community, and helping in all the ways I can. thats where I am right now,” she said.
Her passion for ceramics hasn’t diminished in any way, and she’s still fashioning new and marvelous pieces from her art studio on a daily basis, but has found found greater satisfaction in helping the community and paving the way for the next generation of artists.
“Its a really really good feeling to be able to share my skills and share with the community,” Collins Chapman said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
To see her new artisan creations and learn more about Collins Chapman, visit www.lindachapmandesign.com.
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