Everyday Makers: Anne Rule-Thompson, Ceramicist

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“This is your ten-minute warning,” Anne shouts from downstairs at her two boys.

As the boys race from bedroom to bathroom to get ready for school, Anne and her husband make breakfast, feed the dog, and get the boys out the door.

The school-day scramble is in full swing and is the storm before the calm of Anne’s quiet downtown Bolivar, W.V., ceramics studio.

“There was a long time when the kids were little when I didn’t really have a place, and it was a struggle,” Anne said. “I guess that’s why I am here.”

Rivers Studio and Gallery is bright and airy as Anne tests out a milk paint sample for the sculpture she is working on, a woman poised on a cliff ready to jump.

“I opened this studio and it was a blind leap of faith,” Anne said.

The gallery is an experiment for Anne. She wanted a place that mixed two types of art: form and function. Her studio pays homage to her sculpture work, as well as functional art pieces, like cups and jewelry, from local artists.

“People can relate to you better when they can see you work and it holds you accountable,” Anne said.

Lining the gallery walls are Anne’s sculptures. Dark reds contrasted with black, shiny glass that evoke images of America’s western landscapes. A sculpture of a little boy perched on the edge of a riverbank or maybe staring into a tidal pool.

“I draw inspiration from being outside, from hikes or vacations I’ve taken and just how people interact with nature,” Anne said.

Previously, Anne had a business in her twenties that went under, but the urge to create kept calling her as she went through life.

“I pushed off being an artist,” Anne said. “And, as a woman and mother, I wasn’t valuing the work I was doing and didn’t see it as worth something and more than a hobby.”

Today, her own opinion of her work and garnering the respect of other artists and clients is what drives her to create.

“I really admire people who can work on one form and make tiny changes,” Anne said. “I want to move on to the next thing and make forms while also saying something.”

Everyday Makers is a personal project. I wanted to capture the daily process of people who have the desire to make and all the work that goes into their handmade pieces. So, if you’re an artist or a hobbiest I’d love to tell your story through photos.




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