Local maker Curt Hammerly breaks ceramic mold


December 9 — The vibrant, geometrically textured and eye-catching work of artist Curt Hammerly extends far beyond average ceramic.

From layered frosting that delivers shades of rich magentas, shimmering greens and deep indigos to coffee mugs whose tactile surfaces beg to be touched, his boundary-pushing work remains one of the most imaginative in the Front Range line. .

This time of year, his oven – in his Broomfield studio – remains hot, with holiday orders pouring in locally and from fans across the country and abroad.

With 200,000 followers on her Hammerly Ceramics Instagram page, her reach has grown widely and it’s easy to see why.

Whether it’s letting people participate in its process or showcasing inspired collaborations, its social media content gives people an intimate glimpse into the life of a working artist.

Whether he’s making parts by hand or using the magical technology of a 3D printer, the end result is always a wow factor.

Beyond cups, he makes ornaments, pipes, plant holders, astronaut figurines and detailed framed photographs of his work are also up for grabs at his site.

He even teamed up with Casetify to create phone cases whose color palette resembles that of his multi-colored enamels on porcelain.

Hammerly’s journey into ceramics came after a life-changing accident 10 years ago. While riding his bicycle, he was struck by a van, resulting in a number of injuries, including seven broken ribs, a fractured neck, a collapsed lung, and ruptured spleen, kidneys and chest. liver.

Time in intensive care, grueling days of physical rehabilitation, and months in a medical halo followed. Unable to do much physical activity, he decided to take up ceramics and take classes at the Boulder Potters’ Guild.

What started out as a simple hobby has evolved into a successful business that continues to grow.

A former technology director in the Department of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado is now thriving as a full-time artist.

We caught up with the Colorado native to learn more about his love of the art form and his goals for 2022.

Kalene McCort: I really like the unique shapes and nuances in your work. What does your process look like? Do you often sketch out ideas for future projects or do the pieces organically evolve in the moment?

Curt Hammerly: At first I did a lot of sketching. Today I have a lot more ideas to work on than I have time, so it’s more of a priority system to get on the list. I also draw, these days, in 3D modeling software that suits my ideas better than paper.

KM: Artistically, who and what would you say you are currently inspired by?

CH: Right now, I find most of my inspiration in the process itself. I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the combination of clay and technology. Too many ideas to pursue and not enough time.

KM: I know this is your busiest time of the year. How many orders would you say you process each week and have top sellers?

CH: Right now it’s the craziest holiday season I’ve had to date. We placed over 1,000 orders in November, almost triple the average month. Best sellers are always coffee mugs in all of my different designs and colors. I can’t seem to do enough.

KM: How are you particularly satisfied with the clay environment?

CH: We take bags of powdered clay from the back door and ship the durable and finished porcelain pieces from the front. The most satisfying part for me is that I can basically form mud into any shape my mind can imagine and the resulting product can last way longer than my life.

KM: Goals for 2022, personal or professional achievements that you would like to see come to fruition?

CH: The main goal for 2021 was to make sure the business could still thrive while bringing a baby to the family in February. The goals for 2022 have more to do with finding a healthy work-life balance while pushing my limits artistically. I also have a really big secret project that will finally launch in January that could change the future of Hammerly Ceramics in a very big way.


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