Meet November Artist of the Month, photographer, and glassblower extraordinaire: Courtney Dodd. She is based out of Asheville, but travels around NC and beyond for residencies and teaching opportunities. GreenHill carries Courtney’s stemless wine glasses in the shop – they are beautiful little gems that look pretty on your shelf and feel even better in your hand.
Read more about Courtney and her work, in her own words, below:
Who are you and what do you do? Include a little about your background.
My name is Courtney Dodd and I’m a maker. Originally trained as a graphic designer and illustrator, I became a Core Fellow at Penland School of Crafts in 2006 where I built up my hand skills in the glassblowing studio. After two years as a Core Fellow, I worked for Devin Burgess, a glass Resident Artist at Penland, who has had a profound influence on me. I then attended VCU for graduate school for glass under Jack Wax. Since school, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of talented people, Pablo Soto being among them.
I’ve been lucky enough to have several residencies; the OCAC photo residency, Pilchuck EAiR for glass, and the STARworks glass residency, where I have really tried to push my work. Teaching has also become an important part of my practice. I was thrilled to teach at Corning Museum of Glass this year, where I will return in 2018. I’m also teaching at Sawtooth School for Visual Art, Appalachian Center for Craft, and Urban Glass in 2018.
My production work is made under the name Little Dipper Studio, which I started in 2014. My line employs a retro color palette, vintage inspiration, and considers both form and function. Hand blown, simplistic shapes with attention to detail is the basis for all the work that comes out of Little Dipper Studio.
My main partner in crime, in life, and in the studio is Nick Fruin. We collaborate, teach together, and act as sounding boards for the other. I owe so much of my sanity to Nick. He is unbelievably talented and has a very kind heart.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
Playing in the studio and getting a little lost. I was recently experimenting in the glass studio and was so excited I was jumping up and down. Then, I realized it had been too long since I had felt sense of newness with the material. So many times deadlines and daily life gets in the way a little and I forget to play. Being a beginner can be advantageous, you don’t know what you’re not supposed to do… so you have no inhibitions with the materials. I try to find my way back there sometimes.
What is your dream project?
I would love to do a project with Susan Goethel Campbell or Ann Hamilton. I have adored their work for years and respect both of them so much as women and makers.
What superpower would you have and why?
To stop time, I never seem to have enough daylight.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“This is all practice.”
I was preparing for my MFA show and couldn’t stop stressing over every detail. My professor, Jack Wax, said the most pivotal thing for me at that point. “This show isn’t going to be the end of your career . . . it’s the beginning. And all of this is practice.” It was at this point that I stopped being so afraid I would fail. If it’s all practice, you’re supposed to fail before you get better.