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Posted by on 10/9/13 at 02:22pm

Have you ever known a Renaissance woman? Linda Perez is the first person who comes to mind when I hear that moniker. Linda gained local fame when her emotional Pecha Kucha talk elicited both tears and a standing ovation (the only I’ve ever witnessed) at the Center for Architecture, San Antonio.  Linda is someone you meet and quickly want to get to know better. I first met Linda at the Pearl Farmer’s Market, where she was selling her grass fed beef. Many folks, local chefs included, enjoyed Linda’s beef. We would all still be supporting her business were it not for the crippling drought Texas has experienced over the past few years. But rather than letting the drought beat her, Linda directed her energy towards another passion, pottery. Lake Flato recently commissioned Linda to design and make mugs for our office. Read on to see images of Linda’s work and hear more about her inspirational life!
-Jennifer Young

1. Where do you call home?

Home has been the L&M Ranch,  south of San Antonio between Floresville and Pleasanton,  and a dream fulfilled since 1994. San Antonio was my birthplace and, after being away for many years mostly in African countries and the east and west coasts of the U.S.A., it is good to live in the area again.

2. What led you to your craft?

As with many decisions, a lot of different influences led me to ceramics. A desire to explore and develop my long ignored artistic ‘side’ led me to attempt painting about a decade ago under the wonderful teaching of Alberto Mijangos. It was the drought of 2006, however, and the depression that resulted from having to sell beloved cows in their prime for premature slaughter that led a friend, who cut my hair and was a potter, to push into my hand a course catalog from the then Southwest School of Art and Craft. She urged me to sign up for something that would “…make (me) happy”. I took her advice, registered for my first ceramics class, and fell in love with clay. The physical hands on interaction required to shape and to sculpt clay and the collaborative dependency and interaction with water, air, and fire to complete the ceramic process made me realize how truly awesome clay is and choose it as the medium for me. Now a day does not feel complete without clay in it.

Ceramics allowed me to contribute to a lifelong appreciation for simple, lovely things that work in daily life. As a cattle rancher for many years and vendor of grass-fed beef at the Pearl Farmers Market I eventually designed clay cookware to enhance the cooking of meat, something many cultures throughout the world already knew. As my appreciation for well-prepared and well-served food grew, I shifted toward my current focus on tableware. For a vessel to appeal to the eye, give pleasure to the hand, and complement a meal is my goal for each piece of pottery I make.

3. What are you working on now?

I am fortunate to be working on three substantial and challenging jobs. These include the design and production of coffee and tea mugs for Lake Flato Architects, specialty cookware and serving ware for Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, and the tableware for Steven McHugh’s new restaurant Cured, which is scheduled to open at the Pearl the end of this year. Each of these jobs requires designing and working through a surprisingly large and complicated set of factors. I love the process of matching types of clay, forms and sizes, glazes and decorative elements to the needs and aesthetics of the client while still producing the pottery that comes from my heart and hand.

There are so many steps to navigate and places for potential error which one must be mindful of in planning and executing a design, such as glaze and clay compatibility, shrinkage rates, warping and distortion concerns, consistency, and practical aspects of economy, weight, storage, and production. Watching the pieces evolve and emerge is very satisfying with moments of joy and disappointment taking their turns. I love the idea of my ceramics making someone’s morning cup of coffee or anniversary dinner a more special experience. I believe one should celebrate daily life.










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