About… hardwick handmade
Pottery is not just something Matthew does- It is a passion- an obsession.
Born and raised in Virginia, Matthew Hardwick started making pottery in 1986 in high school before continuing this medium at James Madison University. Following a friends advice he moved to Northern New Mexico in 1993 to explore and experience the Southwestern United States. Preparing for the move he discovered that Santa Fe, New Mexico would be a perfect fit for an adventurous artist ready to feed a hunger for creativity. This whim to see something different, made him grow as an individual and opened his eyes to the diversity and complexity of the world around him.
Altogether, Matthew enjoyed fifteen years in Santa Fe. There he honed his skills in ceramic production, building upon his love of clay completely committed to the community which embraced him. He worked at multiple potteries where he learned the fundamentals of making and designing pottery. He hiked extensively in the desert and the Rocky Mountains and built connections with individuals that will last a lifetime.
In the midst of his time spent in the Southwest, his life led him to Denver, CO and finally to the Roaring Fork Valley where he worked at a non-profit not only learning, but teaching K-8th grade students pottery, tile work, organic gardening and resource efficient construction. Permaculture and energy efficiencies became an important part of his life and remain so to this day. There important ceramic artists entered his life, ones that not only encouraged him as an artist and as an individual, but ones that made him proud to be an artist and maker.
Boom, he wound up in Lincoln Nebraska; one of the premier ceramic graduate programs in the United states where he studied with Gail Kendall, Eddie Dominguez and Pete Pinnell. Guest artists were brought in from around the world including Gail Nichols, Ian Currie and Sarah Jaeger, but it was his peers who on an every day basis, tested him whether he liked it or not. He achieved a Masters degree in Art with a concentration in Ceramics, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Afterwards, he moved back to Santa Fe, New Mexico and reestablished his pottery career. His experience and contacts allowed him the honor of teaching at Santa Fe Clay and the Institute of American Indian Arts. He got his old job back where his education in pottery production culminated in daily contact with Jenny Lind and Allan Walter. Their guidance in seemingly how to make pottery and art, but really how to work with people and treat people made a huge impact on how he lives his day to day life.
Eventually, he moved away from production pottery established a new career in manufacturing which built upon his creative knowledge and not only taught him efficiencies and cost reduction techniques, but how to implement them in the workplace. It was a step he felt he needed, to grow his managerial skill as well as the size of his paycheck. As a production and quality manager he spent four years remotely managing an office in Northern China and another year managing a Hong Kong office. Long days and nights taught Matthew a great deal about what he wants and doesn’t want in his life.
Currently, he has moved back to Virginia, close to where it all began for him, but not too close if you know what I mean. His proximity to friends and family pleases him as does the time he has to make pottery and promote this business.