Free Ceramics is a pottery run by Emily Free Wilson and Matt Wilson in Gardiner, Oregon that originated from 15 years of creating in Montana. Free Ceramics are made by hand from start to finish with the up-most attention and consideration. All pieces are dishwasher safe, created with safe materials and decorated with a spontaneous and free movement of line and color, with the intent they bring joy with every use.
Emily Free Wilson’s signature style of Free Ceramics began in 2003 just after moving to Helena, Montana for an internship at the Archie Bray Foundation Clay Business. A graduate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a background in running and a degree in sculpture and ceramics, Emily was interested in gallery and museum work and being an active part of the art world. Helena’s rich history and supportive community of ceramic artists led to a conscience decision to find her own voice in pottery. Taking her obsession with drawing dots and combing them with her pots was an “ah-hah!” moment in a friend’s studio where it all began. With the help of her husband, Matt Wilson, they worked together to fine-tune the pottery line of “Dot Pots”.
As the Gallery Director at the Archie Bray and with the arrival of Matt and Emily’s son Clayton, Dot Pots needed help in order to continue growing. In 2007, Bobby Free, also a ceramic artist and Emily’s brother, joined the pair and the three started “Free Ceramics.” The family collaboration not only increased visibility and opportunities to show in galleries across the United States, but it also allowed all three artists to focus on a specific part of the making process. Free Ceramics has a great team that works together to create better forms and decorations while meeting customer’s needs for a reliable piece of beautiful hand made pottery.
Free Ceramics was featured in the 2011 summer issue and on the front cover of the international magazine Ceramics Monthly. The same year Free Ceramics expanded their studio space and started Clay Club, year round clay classes for kids. Expanding the space and being more involved in the community introduced Emily and Matt to new ideas and allowed them to offer their pottery to a wider audience.
Free Ceramics can be found in galleries all over the United States. To purchase a piece, browse “Our Collection” for special orders or if you would like to start a wholesale account please visit our SHOP page.
Studio Art Center
In 2014 Free Ceramics started the Studio Art Center, a place for creating and the community! The Studio Art Center was an old funeral home converted into an art center with private studios and community space for rent, a showroom for studio artists, and a place where live music, classes and events take place. Matt and Emily sold this amazing community space to a group of artists whose passion is Theater! It still thrives as an art center bringing arts the Helena community.
With the help of many friends and family, Emily and Matt launched a online fundraiser to help with the initial remodel costs of the old funeral home in Helena, MT. They raised over $25,000 and are forever grateful to everyone who chipped in. The following is a list of individuals who gave to that campaign and helped make our Studio Art Center a reality! THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! This art center lives on and continues to be a creative space for the community to enjoy in Helena.
Check out the fundraising video we did back then (click the image to the right) and sign up for Free Ceramics’ monthly newsletter to keep up with their current projects!
Mark & Ann Feldhauser, Timothy Speyer, Dave Hunter, Anonymous, Ginger Agee, Jeremy Bartlett, Bruce & Mary Capdeville, Linda Carlson, Chip Clawson, Allen Flinck, Gerold & Midge Golner, Tyler Knott Gregson, Nathan Haney, Dwight & Roxanne Hiesterman, Nancy Mininberg, Allan & Nancy Nicholson, Brandon Orr, Park Avenue Bakery, Suzanne Taunt, Justin Trafton, Scott Walter, Bill Winterburn, Jim & Gina Ziegler
Kimberly Agee, Stacey Anderson, Gary & Joan Anderson, Anonymous, Tim Ballweber, Amanda Barr, Danya Beaumeister, Mary Blake, Tamara Blank, John Board, Patricia & Bill Borneman, Jan & Bill Brown, Elizabeth J Butler, Carolyn Caldwell, Jeff Campana, Kimberlee Carlson, Casey Carlton, Mike & Colleen Casey, Meghan & Cerys, Mumtaj Chokbengboun, Jon Christianson, Shay & Maura Church, Amy Clark, Carol Clifford, Teresa Cohea, Karen Jeanne Coleman, Kyle Cullen, Patrick Doust & Richard North, Sam & Jenny Dowd, Cynna Doyle, Curt Drake, Laurie Ekanger, Casne Engineering, Jana Evans & Marco Rosichelli, Arlynn Fishbaugh, Jennifer Forker & Jim Clarke, Rebecca Foster, Pat Foster, Bobby Free, Christine Free, Erin Furimsky, Julia Galloway, Mary George, Jim Gilman, Mel Griffin, Metta Hallinan, Terri Hamilton, Elizabeth Harter, Rachel Hicks, Clara Hoag, Barbara Howe, Callie Jacques, Karen Jennings, Brett Kern, Judy Kline, Jane Kollmeyer, Yvonne Kunz & Andy Ritchie, Bonnie Lambert, Keith Leatherman, Steve & Lisa Lee, Noreen Lehfeldt, Trevor Lind, Linda Lopez, Paula Maleport, Linda & Paul Martin, Megan Moore, Courtney Murphy, Lois Neal, Betsy Nordell, Sue Northup, Mary O’Malley, David Orndoff, Steve Palmer, Didi Peccia, Jan Peccia, Margaret Regan, Brad Robinson, Kay Satre, Dennis Small, Lauren Smith, Mark & Somsri Squires, Kitty Sullivan, Dalynn Townsend, Frances Wall, Julia Walther, Susan Wilkins, Freda Wilkinson