Meet the 2023 Florida CraftArt Emerging Artists.
Abby Knauff | Palm Harbor, FL | Jewelry
After graduating from SPC, Abby transferred to USF where she is currently a student studying Studio Art. Abby has explored many mediums such as ceramics, painting, and printmaking, but finds that she is most passionate about making wearable art. She uses the same techniques as stained glass to make these one-of-a-kind necklaces, reinventing the timeless art form with a modern aesthetic. The genuine butterfly wings are ethically and sustainably sourced from around the world, after the butterflies have lived a full life. Beyond their ornamental quality, these intricate necklaces can symbolize the transformative power of butterflies. They foster a deep connection to the cyclical nature of life and encourage us to embrace our personal growth and metamorphosis.
Amanda Raye | Sunraye Clay | Largo, FL | Nature Artist
Amanda Raye is a Nature Artist from Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. Mother Nature has directly guided her to create art through the voice of clay.
Sunraye Clay is wheel thrown, functional pottery that is meant to be touched, used, and loved on. Amanda’s desire is for us all to learn from the enticing textures of fired clay, to feel this Earth speak between our hands reminding us of who we are- one. The unique and original surface decoration techniques are there to enhance the warmth of the raw clay, with nature-inspired motifs that continuously dance in her head. The hope is that utilizing these pots throughout our daily habits will remind us to pause in peace, breathe deeply, and see the magic in oneself and the power of nourishing one another on this precious Earth.
Ashley Burke | St. Petersburg, FL | Jewelry
Drawing inspiration from museum collections, Ashley Burke—a museum professional with 20 years of experience—developed Fieldtrip jewelry. Her designs are rooted in the conviction that objects reveal both our outward stories and our deepest secrets. Among all the items we possess, jewelry best encapsulates this duality, offering a medium for personal and public expression.
Burke’s recent focus is on a series of kinetic jewelry which react against, challenge, and subvert notions of fixity. Broadly titled “Time Talismans,” this series is comprised of pieces that subtly or overtly move in direct response to the wearer’s actions and surroundings. This relative movement serves as a gentle reminder that the only constant in our lives is change.
Gillian Probert | St. Petersburg, FL | Ceramic
Gillian Probert is a versatile multimedia artist renowned for her distinctive resin and ceramic sculptures. She is originally from San Diego but moved to St Petersburg to earn degrees in Visual Arts and Management from Eckerd College. Since graduating, Gillian has become the CFO of the local arts nonprofit Artists for Impact. With a deep reverence for nature, her artistic journey unfolds through meticulously crafted works that seamlessly blend organic elements and artistic expression. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, Probert’s art resonates with a profound appreciation for the beauty found in even the smallest of creatures. Working exclusively with ethically collected specimens, including insects, she transforms their delicate forms into enduring art pieces, capturing the essence of life while honoring its passing.
Jorie Berman | Tampa, FL | Ceramic
Tampa based ceramicist, Jorie Berman, has been honing her skills in hand-building clay since she took her first introductory course in ceramics in 2000. In love with the material because of its inherent ability to record the actions of its maker and its environment, she earned a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Georgia in 2002 and an MFA in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005.
Memory and impressions are major themes in Jorie’s work, which makes clay her ideal medium. She believes that clay records the impressions made upon it just like our bodies record our own experiences. She hand-builds sculpture and pottery and enjoys experimenting with how different temperatures and environments affect the final outcomes of the work. Manipulating malleable clay and utilizing various firing methods enables her to better understand herself and the world around her.
Jorie exhibits and sells her work nationally in juried shows, galleries, and through her online shop, BiscuitCeramics.com. She is passionate about people living with art in their homes and works every day to make that dream a reality.
Madison Presley | Tampa, Florida | Fiber
Madison (the Florida-born artist behind strawberrum) creates playful, touchable art by combining the age-old craft of hand spinning with a palette of modern brights.
Inspired by vivid color and the unfiltered, hands-on curiosity of childhood, strawberrum yarns are a high-saturation candy shop for the senses. Madison approaches the spinning wheel as a space to play and create joyfully. Texture is emphasized as well as color, and different fibers provide a unique tactile experience to each piece.
Madison also explores a variety of techniques—including knitting and crochet—to bring finished works to life using both handspun and millspun yarn alongside other mixed media.
Olivia Rogowska | St. Petersburg, FL | Ceramics
Originally from Australia, Olivia started playing tennis at age 3 and played the sport professionally for over 16 years. She moved to Florida for the sunny weather & to be based closer to competition. Then came the unexpected plot twist… 2020 and the pandemic. With the tennis tour on hold, she stumbled upon a community pottery studio & it was like finding the missing puzzle in her life. Clay became her muse, and the studio her playground. Olivia retired from tennis & started spending her entire day learning her new passion. She found a burning desire to dig deep within herself & unearth things she never knew existed. Olivia draws inspiration from nature’s rustic & natural beauty, showcasing a blend of earthy textures & hues. Whether it’s the texture of wood, the neutral shades of linen or the earthy allure of raw clays, her pottery embodies a reverence for these inspirations, translating them into artful, functional pieces. Her fondness for soft, flowy & curvy forms adds another layer of character to her work.
Teresa Mandala | St. Petersburg, FL | Ceramics
Teresa is a multi-media artist who is currently working in ceramics. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Illustration from the Kansas City Art Institute and runs her own advertising studio, Bella Designs Studio, and has worked as a teacher.
Her work includes sculptural, wall art, and functional pieces, which pulls inspiration from her meditation practice and love of nature. Her ultimate goal as an artist is to change the way the viewer sees themselves in this world. To dislodge them from a limited view of separateness to each other and nature, but rather awaken into a new way of seeing connection in LIFE all around us.
Vyolette Hastings | St. Petersburg, FL | Mixed Media
Vyolette Hastings, also known as 6ER, is a mixed media artist with a specialty in large-scale, multidimensional assemblage. Based in St. Petersburg, Florida she began her art journey as a child in the foster care system, utilizing creativity as a means of coping with the turbulent and unpredictable nature of constantly moving and adapting to new realities. Now as a young adult, she uses her work as a means of advocacy, each piece being a vessel of communication and healing. Through the use of vibrant hues, cartoon-esque characters, and nostalgic patterns, Hastings invites the viewer to embrace the excitement of childlike wonder. Upon viewing each painting, you can expect to be immersed in the fantastical character designs and contemplating the deeper meanings behind the whimsical scenery.
Zarin Lucero | St. Petersburg, FL | Ceramics, upcycled objects
Zarin is a ceramicist originally from Portland, Oregon. After relocating to St. Pete last year, he took his first wheel throwing class at The Hive Community Studio. Turning from hobby to obsession, Zarin has been consumed by pottery and its ability to communicate the intersection of function and art. Specifically, his collections center around upcycling thrifted objects into utilitarian works of art. On weekends he can be found in the cluttered halls of antique shops and flea markets hunting the inspiration for his next piece- some forgotten item begging to be transformed into something new and beautiful. Each piece is carefully designed to balance artistic expression with practical functionality. By transforming disused items into art, Zarin aims to highlight the beauty that can be found in the overlooked and encourage a more conscious approach to consumption.