Falma Moye is a gifted pottery artist who combines her knowledge of geology with her art.
She was born and raised in the south–mostly Georgia but according to her, “failed as a Georgia Peach.” She studied geology in College and left in the mid-70’s to work as a field geologist in Alaska. Since then, she has been involved in research, university teaching, and the mineral industry.
She said, “My love for geology and rocks plays a big influence in my pottery. I took my first pottery class in 1985 and fell in love with the art form. I took pottery classes at Idaho State University and Cochise College in southern Arizona where I learned the various techniques. It gave me a chance to 1) play in the mud; 2) be creative; and 3) combine my knowledge of geology and chemistry with art. Pottery is an art form that requires understanding clay and glaze formulas and firing temperatures.”
“I enjoy throwing on the wheel and hand building. My favorite firing techniques are rake and salt glaze. Raku is a Japanese art form that involves taking a hot pot (about 1900 degree F) from the kiln with a pair of tongs. The piece is put into a metal garbage can with paper, grass, manure–anything combustible. By controlling the flames and smoke, I can get a variety of colors and metallic sheens. Raku ware is purely for enjoyment and is not food safe. Salt glazing is an ancient technique where salt is introduced into a kiln that is about 2200 degrees F. The salt vaporizes and nasty fumes come off, but the effect is marvelous, the sodium in the salt fluxes with the clay to make a glaze. Spectacular colors, especially blue, can be achieved by adding metal oxides.”
She lives in Challis and has been in charge of a project to reclaim the Grouse Creek tailings impoundment. Working full time has limited the time she has for doing pottery, but she is looking forward to retirement when she will have more time to devote to her art.