Just the Facts

Highwater Clay, Phoenix Stoneware

Primary forming method 
coil building

Primary firing temperature
cone 04 in oxidization 

Favorite surface treatment
textural synthetic polymers, Flashe vinyl paints

Favorite tools
Mudtools ribs: long scraper rib (serrated, 12 tooth) and paisley scraper rib (18 tooth)

NPR podcasts, music: disco to country 


Working out of a private studio within the confines of a communal arts space (Gasper Arts Center) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I have a multidisciplinary art practice exploring inferiority, queer expression, and the recording of place and time through the use of gesture, layering/erasure, and broken color. My art practice is predominantly split between sculptural ceramics and painting. The communal studio offers me access to the mechanical equipment needed for ceramics, including three electric kilns and two pugmills, all within a workspace tolerant of dust. Practicing alongside fellow ceramic artists and multimedia  artists working in a variety of styles and techniques enables the transfer of knowledge and knowhow. My private studio is roughly 200 square feet with additional communal working spaces (inside and outside). I also have opportunities to display my work in a shared gallery setting. This gallery space is a valuable asset, helping to facilitate studio visits and the production of exhibitions.

In my studio, I am constantly on my feet and work standing up, thus I utilize three outdoor, bar-height tables topped with 2-foot-square plywood boards as workstations. These tables allow me to move around the pieces to see them in their full dimensionality and are also portable; I move them around the studio as needed. Two rolling carts with 2×4-foot plywood tops are used to store supplies and as primary work surfaces for my handbuilding and finishing preparation. During the construction of my sculptures, I lay out a rectangular piece of drywall on which I prep my coils and organize my most frequently used tools. 

My practice is structured around batch production. I work on multiple pieces (4–5) at a time in the same state, rotating among them to allow the pieces to firm up before continuing with further building. I find that this approach allows for developing continuity and advancing ideas across the totality of my work. Three shelves on wheels provide space for works in progress as well as storage for clay and additional supplies. 

I allow my work to dry slowly over the course of weeks, and during this time, I pivot to the painting side of my practice. I find that exploration of color combinations and sourcing palettes from the urban environment, as a means of recording time and place, enriches the finishing of my ceramics. 

After bisque firing my pieces, I begin the finishing process by layering them with textural synthetic polymers. Referencing colors from my surroundings, I break down the principal color that I plan to use into its color-mixing components, relying on swatches to plan the color scheme. From that point, I premix all of my paints into resealable containers before beginning the patient process of layering the surfaces by hand with intuitive, gestural marks of color—letting the form and previous layers of paint guide the application.

Paying Dues (and Bills)

After graduating in 2010 with a bachelor of science in architecture from Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana), I worked in visual merchandising for many years. This is where I learned the importance of having a strong, cohesive viewpoint and differentiating my work from that of my peers. Over the years, I enrolled in classes at the Indianapolis Art Center, where I studied with a passionate and extremely knowledgeable instructor, Peggy Breidenbach (@pegalito). Employing the techniques learned in her classes, I leaned into coil building and researching alternatives to traditional glazing. Over the years, I explored prolifically: working on defining and refining my artistic intent; researching artists, materials, and techniques; and pushing the limits of my material constructions. 

Pivoting to a deeper commitment to my ceramics practice in early 2020, I decided to take advantage of daily open-studio opportunities. Upon relocating to Florida, I fortuitously found a nearby communal studio, run by Domingo Olavarria (@mingo.makesit). Through the growth of his studio business into a larger space, I was able to lease my first private studio from him and focus on developing a body of work. Consulting resources including art museums, art books, and social media, I sharpened the necessary skills and knowledge to drive my practice forward.

Pursuing ceramics in community-based art centers formed my foundational knowledge of the craft. I am giving back to that type of learning environment by teaching a course, Contemporary Sculptural Ceramics, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art School. The reciprocal transfer of knowledge between pupil and instructor has been tremendously bountiful to my work. It forces me to fully understand how I create, provokes lively discussions on art, and inspires me to explore new avenues in form and building with my own work.  


My day begins with reading the New York Times, playing Wordle, and then scrolling through Instagram—all while enjoying my morning cup of coffee in a handmade mug. I take my dog for his morning stroll along the New River in Fort Lauderdale, where we watch the boats and get to connect with friends in the neighborhood. Then, the first line of business is the administrative side: emailing, financials, sourcing materials, and following up on opportunities to show and sell my work. These are the things that I find more challenging to do, but as I have focused more on these areas, I have been able to grow and sustain my practice. The reward for completing my tasks is being able to go into my studio without the anxiety of unfinished administrative work, thus creating an open mind to be in the moment, which allows me to achieve creative flow. 

I head to my studio around noon and proceed to work until after 8 in the evening during the week. Donning headphones, I block out exterior stimuli to keep my full attention on my work and maintain creativity. Working with thick coils, flattened along one edge, I intuitively build my forms; responding to gravity, entropy of the material, balance, and wetness to inform the aesthetic and direction. 

Saturdays are sanctioned for a disconnect from production and written business (if business doesn’t dictate otherwise). Often, I will head out to one of the numerous art galleries or museums in the South Florida area. Taking in artwork up close gives me an infusion of knowledge and techniques; providing new directions to lean into. There are numerous openings and shows happening weekly that I attend to support my peers and see what they are achieving. 

Sundays are reserved for teaching in the morning, spending time with my partner, Jason, soaking in some vitamin D by the pool, trying a new recipe, and preparing for the upcoming week. 


I am fortunate to have been able to find an established, supportive ceramics and arts community in the South Florida area. Through this community, I have connected with fellow creatives, which has led to opportunities to show my work, develop a network of individuals with diverse skill sets, and learn relevant business insights. 

I find personal engagement to be the most successful in selling my work. I increase exposure for my work through building community connections, attending art and studio openings, participating in group exhibitions, and showing at monthly art walks. Having a multidisciplinary practice allows me to participate in a wider range of venues. Painting commissioned works from my personal connections has been fruitful in funding my overall practice.

Utilizing social media, with the coaching of my good friend, Connie Picouto (@cosmicceramics), has led to many exhibition opportunities, including recent shows at The Frank T. Ortis Gallery and the Mexican Cultural Institute: Miami. Primarily, I scan these platforms for open calls, residencies, and other opportunities to apply to. 

Support for the arts in South Florida has increased as a response to the establishment of Art Basel: Miami. As a result, I have been able to apply for grant and prize opportunities to fund special projects and to support my overall art practice. I am the recipient of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for 2021–22. This fellowship grants me the opportunity to sustain my studio funding, while providing for the exhibition of my work in a group show at the Museum of Contemporary Art: North Miami (Spring 2023). Moreover, I have received additional grants that provide funding for special art events, which enable me to grow my capabilities, take risks, and to show my work to a broader audience. 

As a dream deferred, it has taken a lot of time and energy to get my practice to this point; I look forward to learning, growing, and advancing my art forward in the years to come. 

www.addisonwolff.com, Instagram: @addison_wolff, and Facebook: @addisonwolffstudios

Studio photos: Connie Picouto (@cosmicceramics).