Originally published: 2022/01/18 at 9:42 am
Who is Zephyr Valley Ceramics? What does that even mean?
Thought it would be helpful to write a post for posterity. I frequently am asked where Zephyr Valley comes from.
Firstly, my name is Page Kelly. I have been working with ceramics since 2004, as a community student at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. I transitioned to being a studio potter in 2007, and began showing and selling my work shortly after. (The Resume/CV section under the About in the menu has more detail if you are interested.)
I am a self-taught fiber artist, teaching myself how to knit and crochet, knitting since 2017, crochet since 2018. I'm really interested in learning to weave, so I'm expecting that will happen at some point.
Thanks to living in an area where art and artists thrive, I've also dabbled in painting, water color and acrylics. I've never felt 2D arts were my strength, so likely these will remain things I dabble in.
Now about the name. You will see as my signature chop on my ceramic work a brand inside a jug. This is my actual familial registered livestock brand, I believe initially registered to my great- (great-?) grandfather in the late 1800's in Montana. The way it reads is:
Hanging Reversed Z, V
Image of Signature chop.
My maternal grandmother was given the brand for her ranch, and late in life hung a sign on the fence naming the ranch "Zephyr Valley." Merriam-Webster defines a zephyr as a gentle breeze from the West. I don't know that I remember that breeze being particularly gentle, but that's what Gram named the ranch.
So my spin on it was to put it into the silhouette of a jug that I made early on in my career, showing the family brand on my work. I feel this is a way to honor the past and carry it into the future.
And speaking of the future, I'll keep posting the thoughts of my wandering mind, thanks so much for joining me on the journey! Please feel free to post comments or questions below.