Terri Axness is a retired teacher, painter and potter known for the diversity of her work. Terri was raised in Baker City, Oregon. She received her BA from the University of Oregon, her MS in Education from Eastern Oregon University and taught art in public schools for over thirty years. Terri works in acrylic, oil, pencil, watercolor and clay capturing a wide variety of subject matter from the serious to the whimsical.
In her ceramic studio, Terri fires in electric and gas kilns showcasing both her thrown and handbuilt ceramics. Her love of design coupled with a lifetime of experience in different media allows Terri to produce unique and collectible works. She states, "I enjoy the complexity of clay, the endless possibilities, and the challenges. The incredible diversity in the pacific northwest provides infinite subject matter. I enjoy exploring the many components of where we live in a variety of media including clay."
Terri talks about her famous little birds, "The little bird in hand was thrown on the wheel, altered to give him personality and raku fired. Raku is a form of glaze firing developed in Japan 400 years ago. It became closely associated with the tea ceremony and Zen due to its finished properties and the close contact with all four elements. The Raku bird is removed from the kiln when the glaze is molten and glowing red hot. It is then placed into a sealed bin of sawdust or other combustible material. This starves the glaze of oxygen during cooling, creating metallic effects in the glaze and affecting its color. The rapid cooling also cracks and "crazes" the glaze creating a maze of lines. Raku firing has drama that reflects the extreme conditions a pot must go through on its journey from earth to fired ceramic. At the heart of Raku lays the enjoyment and beauty of the element of surprise."