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Like its maker, Poe’s work breaks the mold

By David Talley | Published Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Roxie Poe pulls several still-warm, resplendent blue and brown, glass-infused jewelry pieces out of the kiln in her garage. The furnace is roughly the size of a trash can, but, given its contents, could more accurately be described as a treasure chest.

Several pieces of the Decatur resident’s work are featured in art galleries around the Metroplex.

“The best-case-scenario is I sell it,” Poe said. “The worst-case-scenario is it will linger around in my life, which isn’t too bad because I wear them.”

Surrounded

SURROUNDED – There’s no shortage of inspiration in Roxie Poe’s home. Her work, which includes paintings, pottery, drawings and prints, cover almost every surface. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The kiln is full of sculptures down to its lowest level – the culmination of more than two weeks’ work.

“Opening the kiln is like Christmas – without the disappointment of Santa not getting you what you want,” Poe said.

That disappointment is nowhere to be found, even when the glaze from a piece of pottery sticks to the shelves inside the kiln and a piece breaks off.

“Crap like this is going to happen,” Poe said. “Well, if you follow the rules all the time, then it won’t and you’ll be safe and nothing will break and you’ll never have any adventures.”

Before settling in Decatur, Poe’s life had been a series of such adventures. While earning a degree in geography, she worked as an air traffic controller. She’s moved all over the state and even spent 14 months in England as part of a mission trip. The West Texas native recently retired after teaching English and art in Alvord, and, before that, Bronte. She finished her career in Northwest ISD.

“I’m a constant experimenter,” Poe said. “I can’t seem to help it.”

Like Christmas 2

LIKE CHRISTMAS – More than two weeks of work fills the kiln to the brim. The furnace is designed to bake the pottery at up to 1,950 degrees Fahrenheit. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A lifelong artist, Poe said her mother noticed her playing with her food as an infant. Before taking up pottery, Poe mainly worked in paint.

“I learned to do clay because I wanted a job,” Poe said. “I was a painter, but if you wanted to teach studio art, you had to know clay. I learned to do it and discovered that that’s the road to addiction.”

Poe’s garage studio is part of her home, which she designed with the help of her brother, to pursue her passion and care for her parents.

Most of the work in Poe’s house is her own. However, a large painting by her daughter, Emily, adorns one wall and an unsigned bowl from a famed Japanese potter sits on a nearby shelf.

Many of the designs feature a unique pyramid shape. These sharp lines and contours challenge the standards of the art world and convey an overall theme in Poe’s work – “If you don’t follow the rules, you get to have fun.”

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