A Little Help From Friends

This piece is one of four unique pieces I’ll have in the Emerging Artist show this April in the Creative Pinellas Gallery. Make sure you see it in person. It is stunning!

In this post I’d like to introduce you to two of my friends that have helped me in so many ways during this grant period. As some of you know I’ve lived here 5 years now and I still don’t have a kiln in my studio. Which makes producing the work I do that much challenging.

It was going to cost me $6-7k to update my electrical and to purchase a kiln a few years ago, so I’m sure the cost has gone up. I’m working towards it, but it just hasn’t manifested for me yet.

What has manifested for me is a good friend, Shelly Reale, that allows me to fire all of my work out of her kiln and I’m extremely grateful. Plus, I always get to see what she is working on in her ceramic studio and talk art. Which always sparks inspiration.



Shelly and her husband, Nick Reale are the founders of Salt Creek Arts. Shelly works out of the ceramic studio and Nick works in the wood shop.


Clay and wood are the newest combinations in my recent work for the Emerging Artist show in April.

I’ve decided to make four gongs for the show that represent the four elements. I strongly feel we need to wake up to our relationship to the earth and how we’ve effected the four crucial elements for our survival. I needed to create some frames for these pieces. Knowing I wanted to make a certain amount of pieces for the show my timeline was tight. This is where my friend, Nick, comes in.



After sketching out the different frame designs I sat down with Nick to go over my vision while giving him creative license on the details. He was patient and willing to work with me on my vision. He would send text updates as he was working, which I appreciated working across town.



When I wasn’t fond of the design of the mallets that I designed. He was more than willing to provide some options for review and ultimately offered a different approach. I really appreciated his attention to the details and willingness to collaborate.



The over all result turned out gorgeous! It’s a must see in person. But it is easy to say I couldn’t of done it without the help of some very good friends. Thank you Nick and Shelly!


Watch me create the ceramic center.



View More Work Online:

Shop:  www.teresamandala.com

Catalog:  2022 Current Work V1





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