Artist ~ Laura White Carpenter ~ Pawtucket

Artist’s name: Laura White Carpenter
Shop name: The Artist in Residence
Facebook: Artist in Residence Laura White Carpenter
Pinterest: Laura White Carpenter
Instagram: The Artist in Residence

1. Tell us about your work
I create three distinct bodies of work in different media - (1) large-scale abstracted nature-based paintings (2) raku ceramic sculpture (3) found wood and ceramic mixed media sculpture and functional pieces (including furniture).

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
Both my maiden and married names are very common, and apparently many people who share those names are artists. It was a fortunate twist that I couldn't locate a domain name using my name, but instead was very pleasantly shocked that no one had grabbed The Artist in Residence. I consider it a perfect name, because I indeed wish to be an artist represented in people's residences!

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I did not go to art school and I have relied upon my natural curiosity and initiative to school myself and to find wonderful people who have patiently helped me along in my learning. This is most true in the area of ceramics, in which knowledge of fundamentals is essential to maintaining the physical integrity of the work. I truly feel fortunate to not have formal training, as I feel this has helped in my being innovative and fostering endless experiment. From a business standpoint, The Artist in Residence was born simply by my creating a lot of work and needing to sell some of my stock! I started small and local and was greatly encouraged by the fact that I found myself selling a lot of pieces right off the bat.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration mainly from the natural world, and indeed use natural materials like feathers and hair to sear into my raku ceramic work. I feel like I am a hunter-gatherer when I go to the beach. I think that all of my artistic and creative endeavors were influenced by my living abroad in conditions where materials were re-used and re-purposed out of economic necessity, cultural mores or lack of resources. I lived in Ghana for 2 years where geometric patterns were incorporated into the exteriors of mud huts, baskets, and elaborate hairstyles. I also lived in Bhutan where every surface of the home is painted with religious and natural symbols.

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
I enjoy various forms of art, but I have to confess that nothing is as cool as creating raku ceramics because of the method and the process, and opening the kiln at the end of it is like opening a present - the surface colors are always a surprise.

6. What’s your best seller?
Lately, it is my decorative wall-based driftwood and ceramic pieces. If I added everything up, probably I have sold more paintings in my career.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
4 years. Please don't hold that against me. I didn't know RI until I met my husband-to-be who is from Pawtucket.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
The big character and pride of its citizens. The endless choices to be next to water. Del's Lemonade. Block Island.

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Water Fire; Wickford

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
There are so many creative and kind people in this State - they will be happy to share their networks or advice. The creative opportunities are growing rapidly here, keep at it! Join as many art organizations as possible - there are many and each comes with opportunities to network and share your work with the world.

11. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
Thank you so much for reading my story. Feel free to contact me if I can help in your artistic journey.


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