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back to nature

April 2, 2017



Alice Ballard’s sculptural ceramic art is inspired by natural forms and nature’s life cycles.

The artist: Born in Florence, SC, Ballard grew an Air Force brat and lived all over the world, including three years in Paris. She earned a master’s degree in painting at the University of Michigan and studied ceramics in summer workshops at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. A working artist, she works as an instructor too. In 1996, she moved from Alaska to Greenville, SC, where she lives and works.

What’s popular: Wall Pods, in groups of three and up to 15 ($1,500 per pod and discounts for large numbers). Also the smaller meditation bowls ($145 to $295), pinched from a small handful of clay.

Other favorites: Half pods ($950 to $1,500); tree totems ($3,500 to $7,500), her largest and most complex ceramic works.

Fun (or unusual) request: Rob Connoley, a nationally acclaimed chef and cookbook author (Acorns & Cattails) asked Ballard to make some presentation bowls for his new restaurant in St. Louis after seeing her meditation bowls at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.

Big break: A review of my 15-Pod Triangle in the American Craft Magazine led to the commission of a similar 15-Pod Triangle for the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC.

Claim to fame: The purchase of “White Onion V11” for the Renwick, part of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. Also two artist fellowships (one just last year) from the South Carolina Art Commission.

What’s new: A new group of tree totems and drawings for a solo show at The Bascom Center for Visual Arts in Highlands, NC (Sept. 2 through Dec. 2). Also a nine-woman show at Clemson University, starting Nov. 1.

Where to buy:


21Medical U. of SC 


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