"I hope also that we will continue to be able to look upon art and artists as one of the factors which can be used to draw nations together....

We need emotional outlets in this country and the more artistic people we develop the better it will be for us as a nation."

     —Eleanor Roosevelt



My work:


The focus of my work is always on a sense of calm and unobtrusiveness, and on the subtleties of the handmade.  I make bowls, cups and plates - the basics, the essentials. I try to find a concurrence of quiet and liveliness, minimalism and warmth, tradition and originality.


My story:


I was born and raised in rural Georgia, the youngest of three children. My father had a wholesale tire business, and my mother was a housewife.  My dad would give me the leftover price sheets from his tire store to draw on because the backs were blank, and it seems like I was constantly drawing on the backs of those pages.


My love of books took me to St. John's College, the “Great Books School” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I earned my undergraduate degree. After graduating, I went on to study the Russian language for three years, culminating in a summer at the University of Leningrad. Next, I moved to New York City on a whim, where I got a job at a Japanese bank - just to pay the rent and to try something new. I was trained as a money market trader.  My co-workers at the bank introduced me to the world of Japanese ceramics, and a show of 17th century Korean celadon ceramics at the Metropolitan Museum of Art marked a defining moment in my life. I began attending evening classes at a small Japanese pottery studio in Manhattan while still working full-time at the bank. After five years, I left New York and sought out an apprenticeship in Japan. I studied under Mr. Yutaka Ohashi of Karatsu, Japan, for 4½ years.


After completing my apprenticeship, I returned to New Mexico to buy a remote plot of land in the mountains north of Santa Fe and set up my studio. That was in 1999, and I also met my now husband, Mark Saxe, who is a stone sculptor.  Together we own Rift Gallery in Rinconada, New Mexico, south of Taos along the Rio Grande rift valley.


Thank you for your interest in my story.






Photo courtesy of Robert Eckert

My Resume

©2017 Betsy Williams