Insight into the creative process

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Kathy Ungerleider in her studio.

Kathy Ungerleider

Medium: seashell art


Member of Granby Artists since: 2022

Kathy Ungerleider began designing seashell/resin art work after attending a workshop in Boston in January 2020. The timing of the workshop was serendipitous, as she was able to spend more time with this new passion during the pandemic. Kathy has always loved the ocean and over the years has collected shells and special stones. She enjoys incorporating her love of the ocean and her seashell collection into her three-dimensional beach scenes.

Kathy collects shells and sand from beaches, including Siesta Key, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and Jensen Beach in Florida, as well as in other states. Kathy is very passionate about designing the scenes and selecting the different colors, shapes and sizes of the glass and shells that compose her artwork. Each piece is unique; no two are exactly the same.

When she began this new venture, Kathy gave her artwork as gifts to friends, who encouraged her to start selling her handcrafted art. She has participated in several art fairs and craft and vendor fairs, has entered a few juried art shows, and sells her work in small boutique shops as well as out of her home. A display of her artwork will be at the Granby Public Library throughout June, as well as at Granby Artists Association events during the year.

Seashell artwork. Submitted photos

Kathy also creates oyster shell trinket dishes, either with pearlized paint or with decoupage, using colorful patterned paper designs. In both methods, gold leaf paint is added to the edges of the shells to enhance their beauty and pearl bead ‘feet’ are added to the base of the shell for stability and uniqueness.

Kathy has always had an interest in art, taking oil painting, acrylic, and pen-and-ink lessons from a young age throughout high school. She also has taken watercolor lessons under the direction of Laura Eden. Her uncle, George Davidson, was a renowned artist in the mid 1900s. She was excited and honored to become an exhibiting member of the Granby Artists Association in June 2022.

Kathy has a master’s in Public Health from Yale University and an undergraduate degree from Wheaton and Williams. She is very active in the community. She is currently serving on the Board of the Granby-Simsbury Chamber of Commerce, the Parks and Rec. Board, is an exhibiting member of the Granby Artists Association and she volunteers for Connecticut Foodshare.

Carolyn Dittes

Carolyn Dittes in her studio. Submitted photos

Medium: Pottery

Address: 14 Baycrest Dr., Granby

Phone: 978-509-3801



Member of Granby Artists since: 2022

My passion is pottery making, specifically wheel throwing. Having recently relocated to Granby, I was thrilled to discover the Granby Artists Association and honored to become an exhibiting member in May, 2022.

For 48 years, wheel throwing has provided me with the opportunity to be present in a way that is different from most daily life activities in at least two significant ways.

First, I don’t have to, and don’t want to, exert control over the clay, but rather the clay and I communicate back and forth in a mutually expressive process. I make a move and the clay responds; then I respond and the clay makes a move. This means focusing on each interaction in each particular moment. I am asked to be open to whatever happens and to respond playfully each step of the way, to be surprised by each result and to react accordingly.

Secondly, wheel throwing requires that I be present, but not in an intellectual way. This interactive process does not happen in my head; it is very much about tuning in to the clay on a tactile, feeling level. My hands and heart resonate with what the clay is doing and respond on a level that is intuitive and beyond left brain thought. In the process, I get a welcome pause from my active mind’s chatter, and peacefully co-create with the clay from a deeper, more meaningful level of experience.

Clay pottery piece.

There are so many things in life that we feel we need to control: schedules, plans, traffic, emails, appointments, health issues, machines, what we eat, if or how we exercise, with whom we meet, our dog’s behavior, our children’s behavior. Wheel throwing continuously gives me a respite from this constant pull to control. It teaches me the pleasure and the wonder of collaborating rather than controlling, the freedom to respond intuitively to whatever happens in the present moment. It involves trusting the process of the unfolding, rather than trying to control the outcome.

Because it’s the right brain, creative, often subconscious part of me that is participating in the give-and-take process with the clay, I often feel that making pottery helps me manifest parts of myself that had been hidden. I feel I have a lot to learn from the pots that are results of this subconscious process. I love observing freshly thrown pieces to see how I react emotionally to them and what the newborn forms have to teach me. After I unload a kiln, I live with the novel pieces displayed in my living room, so I can reflect on what they show me, about themselves and about me. The final pieces talk to me and tell me what is working well and they also suggest what adjustments might help make future pieces even livelier, more expressive, and satisfying. It is a gift to receive what they have to offer.

As I make Granby my new home, and work in my new studio here, I look forward to continuing to engage in a reciprocal process with all that Granby presents, trusting in the unfolding.