The instability of life on the road led former punk rock musician Osa Atoe to seek an alternative creative outlet. Pottery was something that had always been at the back of her mind so one day she signed up for classes and was hooked setting up her business Pottery by Osa in 2015 from her kitchen. Initially running her business part-time while working as an after-school art teacher Osa has since transitioned into working in it full-time from her dedicated studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Born to Nigerian immigrant parents Osa grew up in Virginia later moving to Louisiana. While she would see and be surrounded by the influences of her heritage from her parents Osa is keen to point out that her work is not specifically inspired by Africa, her Nigerian heritage, or any other particular culture but rather is an amalgamation of the different cultural influences that come from living in a multi-cultural society. To Osa, this is what makes her work exciting, and allowing for various ways to express herself creatively. Her decorative line markings can be attributed to Ancient Greek and Roman pottery styles, African design, Native American, and even Scandinavian minimalism giving it a universal familiarity that transcends the limiting boxes an artist is often put into. It is that familiar appeal that has drawn attention to her work.
Osa creates and decorates all her products herself selling them online and at craft fairs. While her ceramic class gave the basics to get started Osa is largely self-taught when it came to developing her craft, watching YouTube videos and experimenting with the medium. Osa found herself drawn to terracotta and red clay, and having visited Nigeria several times noticed the connection of red soil to the colour of the clay she uses. It is touches like this whether conscious or sub-conscious that bring a warmth and soulfulness to her work.
Osa also gives back to her local community by donating a piece of pottery every month to a worthy cause committed to struggles for justice.
For further information about Pottery by Osa visit: www.potterybyosa.com