Matt Tommey / Vine Baskets by Matt TommeyMatt Tommey is an Appalachian basketmaker in Asheville, North Carolina. Matt's baskets are a whimsical collaboration of traditional Appalachian forms...
Thirty – eight years ago, I chose ceramic art as my vocation. The life of an artist has been a constant balancing act between the love of creating and the necessity to maintain a small business. I have relied on my instincts and my heart to guide me in creative directions throughout the years. Therefore, my work has seen many changes, growth and evolvement. Working with clay has been a constant challenge. Sometimes unpredictable, I have worked to understand my medium, it’s limitations in particular.
Clay has become my canvas. From the canvas, everything evolves – design, color, and surface treatment - my goal is that every piece tells a story that reflects my enthusiasm, energy and passion.
Somehow, I have managed to survive the demands of an artist’s life. 2009 tested me more than any time in my life, and it became very clear that art is not what I do but who I am. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2009. In an instant, my life changed from focusing on my art to focusing on this life threatening disease. Through all the treatments and toil, I have never lost sight of my greatest healing power – my art.
I received my education from the University of Cincinnati in 1972 with a double major, ceramics and painting.
I have been a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild since 1983. I am also a member of the Foothills Craft Guild, and a twelve year member of the Mississippi Craft Guild. I helped to co – founder of a women’s potters group called “Terra Madre. “
I have participated in numerous fine art and craft events and gallery exhibitions.
Galleries that represent my work include The Folk Art Center, Parkway Craft Center, Cumberland Crafts, Arrowcraft Gallery, Boone’s Creek Pottery Gallery,
Wickwire Gallery, Hanson Fine art and Craft Gallery, The Other Half, The John C. Campbell Folk School Craft Gallery.