Beth Prostrollo; SDAA Featured Member Interview
by Stacey |November 2018
Beth Prostrollo grew-up in Aldham and Howard SD. She studied Interior Design thru La Salle University. As for her Art, she is mostly self-taught. In grade school, her classmates piled-up cardboard from their notebooks and asked her to draw paper-dolls on them. Once the dolls were cut-out, they would then bring them back to Beth and ask for clothes. Beth also gave them pointers on how to color the clothes with their crayons. With parents who were both artistic and self-reliant, Beth grew-up believing “If you think you can do something, you probably can.”
On Ms. Prostrollo’s website one will ﬁnd pictures of Raku pottery. The following is Beth’s explanation of Raku.
“Raku is a Japanese method of ﬁring pottery, and dates back to ancient times. It is ﬁred outdoors. When it is glowing red-hot, each piece is removed from the ﬁre and placed in combustible material such as leaves, paper, rags, sawdust, etc. When that bursts into ﬂames it is then covered to smoke and color the surface of the piece.
There are lots of different ways to glaze Raku pottery - it can be sprayed or brushed on, or left bare of glaze to turn dark and smoky.”
The different ﬁnishes, colors, and varieties that are possible are what has inspired Beth to create Raku pottery. She also likes the element of unpredictability, which can lend for surprising results. It has been about 20 years since Beth was encouraged to start Raku. She has taught a few classes, but says she learns something new with each Raku piece.
Beth has participated in various art and craft shows. Her recent booths are full of whimsical little houses which are lit from within and full of color. Beth was asked what inspired her to create these little homes, and what other things she might be swayed to create... “I love all hand built items: things made with clay and ﬁred, or made from natural materials and found objects. I like the idea of creating a small world (fairies, dwarfs, elves, gnomes, etc.) and inviting people in to imagine.” Drawing, painting, bead work, sculpting are all forms of art Beth enjoys. Mediums she might be found to use are pencils, pens, markers, paint, alcohol inks, resin, found objects, wood, small boxes, tubes of cardboard... just to name a few.
“I feel there is Art inside everyone. If you get a ‘ﬂash’ of an idea or inspiration -you want to make it more special by trying to change it - because it is a gift from above and you should go ahead and create it!”