A life bundled in joyous sparkling creativity — a husband, three kids, two Labradors and two cats in a handmade, earth-plaster, strawbale home enveloped by the stunning San Juan Mountains — is what propels Deidra Krois to create art that speaks to its new owners.
Her functional and decorative ceramics are hand-thrown and stamped or etched with heartfelt messages, poetry and impactful quotes by the Dalai Lama, Muir and Gandhi. The self-taught Ridgway potter says she looks to her three children to learn how to be a better person everyday and to walk through life with an open heart.
“I am inspired by my mountain lifestyle, global adventures and the universal truths captured in poetic verse and profound quotes,” Krois says.
From her simple home studio on a Colorado mesa at 8,800 feet, surrounded by three acres of alpine forest, Krois hand-throws mountain themed pots and mugs on a potter’s wheel and builds them from slabs of chocolate, ochre and porcelain clay.
The central Pennsylvania native studied Architecture at Penn State before transferring to Colorado State University to study Fine Arts, where she took a ceramics 101 class and graduated with a BFA in Fiber Art. A swift move to Telluride landed her a ceramic studio manager gig at the local Ah Haa School for the Arts. In 2002, Krois and her husband migrated down valley to Ridgway to raise a family together. She put art on pause for 10 years as a stay-at-home mom before going back to work at a local clay studio and, eventually, launching Wishing Star Pottery in 2014 and Ridgway’s Mountain Girl Gallery in 2017.
Krois’ art communicates power through positive affirmations as she works with a focus to motivate mindful living through ceramics. A self-described wanderer, seeker, gardener and environmentalist, Krois says she was drawn to the physical and meditative nature of making pots on the wheel.
“I have fostered my love affair with clay and words by creating a ceramic business that inspires the world one pot at a time,” she shares. “I treasure the feel of earth in my hands, molding and manipulating it into timeless pieces of art that are used, loved and cherished.”
Next up: Krois is studying a new digital drawing program to turn her drawings and design patterns into handmade stencils and resists using a cutting printer. Watch for new mountain designs and patterns inspired by travels to Greece and Mexico in 2022.
“I aspire to inspire,” Krois adds. “I do what I love. I love what I do.”
Photos courtesy of Deidra Krois.
Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2022 Issue.