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Meet Tony Borchardt of Holly Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tony Borchardt.

Hi Tony, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Well. I have always wanted to be an artist throughout my entire childhood. As a freshman at Fontbonne University in St.Louis, I focused entirely on the ceramic arts. During the school year, I worked to obtain my Bachelor of Fine Arts, and during the summers, I worked at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. After graduation, I continued my education at Fontbonne University, obtaining my Master of Fine Arts. For the next 12 years, I taught at multiple Universities and Community Colleges. I had multiple moonlighting jobs in construction and bartending, all the while I priced a body of ceramic work that I sold at art fairs around the country. Eventually, I could sustain myself in my art and teaching. In 2016 I was hired full-time at Fontbonne University. Today I am an associate professor of Fine Arts and Gallery Director, and I continue to sell my ceramic work at the most prestigious art fairs in the country. My work is also for sale in multiple galleries in the areas and exhibitions nationwide.

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Oh no. Sometimes I worked three jobs and still worried about money at the end of the week to eat from. I focused and dedicated my income to improving my studio, kilns, and ability to sell and apply to better art fairs. Finding a specific teacher role in the full-time area and not having to leave my family and the town I grew up in was tough, hence the other jobs.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Over 28 years of making pots, I have had many sales and creations. I love all the processes that are available in ceramics. I enjoy the change and fluidity of the clay work. My most recent body was in the beginning stages right at the beginning of Covid 19- Over the years. I have grown and continue to work on new concepts within a body of work I call “The Industrial Series” “the Industrial Series” is inspired by all the things that have contributed to me being an artist. At a young age, visions from my grandfather’s tools shops and garages were exciting. I still admire old artifacts, oil cans, tools, and camping gear, many of my early as a potter were from spending months in China and learning from the great traditions and architecture. I have always appreciated Mayan and Turkish structures for their shape and forms. This body of work is finished with metal components to support handles. Still, functionality is important due to my training as an artist, but it is not always the most important element anymore.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
Ceramics will continue to push contemporary ideas and have a strong traditional platform. I don’t see too many major changes in the future. The education system is a different story, but I don’t think we want to discuss that.

Pricing:

  • Bourbon Sets: 600- 1300
  • Watering Cans 275
  • Cups and Bowls 40

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Tony Borchardt

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