Julia Castor, Artist and Ceramicist
Welcome to my website! I am an artist who splits her time equally between the world of visual arts, and the world of fine craft. I find that, as both a painter and a potter, my focused energy spent on each art form creates a unique conversation between the two in my work. I love the breathing space that each gives to the other, and being diverse caters to my need for variety and excitement in what I create.
I began painting when I was ten years old, after my parent encouraged me to spend my savings on a paint set and some self-teaching books. From then on, I have never stopped, and I have had the great privilege of studying with several incredible teachers and professors over the years, mostly in atelier style art schools. I chose to study this way because of my intense and passionate love for the great masters, and my belief that the Renaissance style art instruction model is what will/has given me the most well rounded and deep fine art education I could receive. Truly, the greatest teachers I have had lived and worked hundreds of years ago, but the legacy they created through the masterworks they left behind and the philosophies they embodied impacts every piece that I paint.
My love of ceramics grew, in a way, out of my love for the Earth. There is something incredibly beautiful and grounded about working with clay. The history of making the items we eat off of goes back to (at least) the Neolithic period, and we have evidence that not only did those potters make pots out of physical necessity, but they also found beauty and joy in creating those pots. I love how ancient this craft is, and how essentially and delightfully human making pottery has always been.
I began making pots by purchasing a wheel off of Craig’s List, and teaching myself in the little back corner that my art teacher graciously let me set up in her fine art studio. It was a magical time, and to this day, whenever I sit down at the wheel, I am reminded of that magic. I have continued my education by participating in many intensives, workshops, classes and internships over the years, and I continue to do so. I believe that no artist ever stops learning-this is an inexhaustible pursuit, and in the words of Ingres, Our task is not to invent but to continue, and we have enough to do if, following the examples of the masters, we utilize those innumerable types which nature constantly offers to us, if we interpret them with wholehearted sincerity and ennoble them through that pure and firm style without which no work has beauty.