About Creekside Pottery and Timothy Sullivan

August 10, 2020

“Each man’s life is a diary into which he means to write one story, and then writes another.” I remember reading that when I was about 16, and I remember it as attributed to “anonymous”. About 10 years ago I “googled” the quote and found out that it really goes : “The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it”. It was written by the great Scottish author and playwright James Matthew Barrie, best known as the creator of Peter Pan. I like my remembered version better, and have found it to be one of the truest things I know.

I received my BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University in ceramics and painting in 1972, and my MFA in ceramics from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 1975. The 2001 Great Gulfcoast Art Festival was the first festival I attended, and the first time that I had shown work of any kind since the late 1970s. After graduation I had part-time jobs and maintained various studios working with mixed-media sculpture, wood, or clay. From 1983 to late 2000, I stopped working as an artist or craftsman and was entirely focused on a career in IT, holding jobs as varied as typewriter repairman, computer sales, manager, ComputerLand franchisee, network engineer, and IT executive. In October of 2000, I made the decision to return to clay, and pursue a full time career as a potter.

I find clay to be an extremely challenging medium.  It’s not intrinsically beautiful.  It’s not easy to work with.  The technology required to bring a piece to life is daunting. It has no shape or form.  It’s not colorful or intricately patterned.  It brings nothing with it except potential.  Ah, but what potential it brings!  Its limitations are my limitations, my failure to imagine.  It brings enough potential to satisfy a lifetime of ambition.

I’m not an artist, I’m a designer craftsman.  That’s a choice.  I’m aware of the past, but don’t rebel against it.  As a craftsman, my goal is to add to a conversation that has been going on for more than 20,000 years.  To stand upon a stone in the stream that has not been stood upon before. 

I've published about 200 images of my work dating back to about 2002 on Pinterest.  You can explore the full catalog there by choosing Archives from the menu.

On this site I will be offering one-of-a-kind available pieces which can be shipped or picked up at my studio if you're in the Atlanta area.