Coping with life’s frustrations led Teresa Rader Giuliani down a new path that completely changed her life. As a stress reliever, Giuliani took up crafting pottery pieces that not only were functional but also exceptional works of art.
“I like making things that are multi-purpose,” said Giuliani.
Perhaps she had that same intention when she first started taking pottery classes at the Knoxville Arts and Crafts Center in March of 2000. Giuliani said she thought her first attempts at pottery were horrible. She said she intended to make coffee mugs, but instead she brought home a paperclip holder and a candle holder. When she confided to her husband that her first efforts in class were not working out, he was uncertain as what to expect when she brought home her creations.
“My husband is my biggest supporter,” Teresa Rader Giuliani said of husband, Mark Giuliani. She said he was impressed with her creations and urged her to continue with her new found hobby, which is now a way of life.
She said she still has some thrown and altered pieces -- pottery that starts out to be one thing but turns out to be something else. Giuliani said one of the things she likes about crafting pottery pieces is the element of surprise.
“What’s fun is when you have a new glaze, you don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like,” Giuliani said. She said she likes to experiment with color. When she uses three different glazes, a piece can actually have six colors because of the overlapping process. According to Giuliani, the colors of finished pieces also vary by the consistency of the temperature of the kiln and also by the colors of pieces sitting next to each other during the glaze firing process. Also, glaze colors vary depending on the different clays used.
Giuliani said she invites her neighbor over after the glaze firing process. She said her neighbor compares the opening of the kiln after glaze firing to Christmas morning. The end result of the colors of the pieces is always a nice surprise.
What also surprises Giuliani are the creative ways that customers use the pottery she creates. A business card holder cradles Post-It Notes. She has seen the wine coolers used as flower vases or kitchen utensils crocks. A small dish she makes can be used as a pepper grinder holder or be a beautiful dish to place by the sink for rings.
All the glazes that Giuliani uses are food safe. The pieces she creates are fired to cone 6, which allows them to be used in the oven, dishwasher and freezer. She specializes in creating a variety of casserole dishes, plates and bowls.
Giuliani, a Nashville native and now Maryville resident, is a member of the Appalachian Arts and Crafts Guild in Norris. She has participated in the Christmas Arts and Crafts sale at the Knoxville Municipal Building, the Christmas sale at the Knoxville Arts and Crafts Center and this will be her fourth year at the Foothills Fall Festival.