Artist Rita Ryan's One-Woman Business Won't Compromise on Quality

-->By Amanda Stevens Of the Journal

The dancing woman in the home studio that has Billy Idol's "White Wedding" blasting from the stereo is Rita Ryan, doing what she loves: working. "It makes you feel like a kid. I get to play," Ryan, a clay artist said. "I get to make money, and I get to play." Ryan owns, operates and creates the merchandise for her out-of-home business, Rita's Pottery Garden, based in Rio Rancho. Wanting to keep her business small, Ryan has no intention of expanding beyond her capabilities. "I don't intend on employing anyone else. I like the solitude. I get along with myself good ... I don't want someone ruining my chi here. It's a very happy, relaxing place," she said. Creating everything from soap holders to large platters, Ryan prides herself on creating only unique, functional pottery. "I have an idea of what I want to make, and that's pretty little functional pots. If you want a cookiecutter made in china toothbrush holder, go to Wal-Mart." Ryan said she has refused several requests for items such as toothbrush holders and butter keepers, but tries to keep an open mind for ideas. "I'm not opposed to ideas ... I made (butter keepers) for a while, but I hate making them because I haven't found a way to make them unique. If I'm going to make it, I want them to be really special," she said. These "pretty little functional pots" can be found at the Los Ranchos Growers' Market on Saturdays. Rita Ryan started her pottery business in 1991 after she witnessed two women arguing over a piece of her work at the Los Ranchos Growers' Market. "Ladies at the farmers market started fighting over a pot and I thought, 'I have something really good here.' " From that point on, Ryan said she can barely keep up with the ideas she has and the requests she gets for more of her creations. "I just can't make enough stuff," she said. "People are looking for more and more and I can only do so much ... There just isn't enough time to make everything I want to make." Even though Ryan's creations sometimes sell faster than she can make them, she still has standards for her work. "I expect a little bit of perfection," she said. "If I look at a piece and there's something wrong with it, I'd rather not make it at all if it doesn't fit my idea of what I wanted to look at. "The person looking at that piece on their coffee table will appreciate your thinking about perfection when you were making it."

A few things to know...
Due to e-mail spammers using my pottery blog to try further their pathetic carreers I have pulled my e-mail address from this blog. However, If you would like to speak to me in person about any of my pottery you may call me, and Yes, talk to a real person.
Please keep in mind I do not ship pottery unless a minimum of $100 is met, as I am just not set up for shipping. Please also, keep in mind also that 98% of what you see on this blog has already been sold, It seems as though my pretty little pots are quite popular here in NM and about the time I get around to making a few they sell awfully quick, I am not a production potter so If you see something you would like me to attempt to duplicate just remember it will created with "artistic discretion"

please call my other office aka my real job! M-F 6am - Noon toll free at 1- 800- 999- 5845
or better yet visit "The Land of Enchantment" and my studio in Rio Rancho, NM

Crazy Artists *Post from -- Jan 20th 2006*

After working all day yesterday at the commodities office, My dream of being an actress was about to come true (Now, there’s something you didn’t know about me) HGTV film crew came to my studio at my house to film me making pottery for their “That’s Clever” show.

It was grueling……. smiling every two minutes for the 6 hours of filming, jumping in and out of the camera for action shots, by the end of the day (10:00 at night) I was reduced to a babbling idiot.

I did manage to embrace all the folly of the show, dancing for the camera, threatening jesters with my rolling pin. Swinging in the hammocks, the outdoor shots were fun; My dog was the real star of the show.

I did get the two pieces made a funky soap dish and a “Nagiere” vase, they both looked good.

Having four people and two cameras in your face at close range for that long of time was much more nerve racking than I could have ever anticipated. I consider myself an outgoing person, confident about my art but I just could not keep up the pace of stop and go filming. Switching between working and talking, my brain just could not adjust I either wanted to talk or work and I felt kind of like a ping-pong ball bouncing around my studio.

I laughed hysterically at the blundering blubbery words that were coming out of my mouth, You should have heard me try to say “Bone Dry” after 5 or six try’s we gave it up and I said “Green Ware” the term for clay that has not been fired yet. And if by some miracle I got the shot perfect, then just my luck the cameraman messed up on his end and we had to start over, too many times to count.

I tried my best to stay positive and perky to the end. And not to worry about the CRAZY LADY THEY JUST FILMED After about 4 hours I was ready to fall over, and I had not even started on the main project, my vase! I was amazed at how hard the crew and the producer had to work to keep on task, and I have a new respect for this type of work, it is so much more than one can imagine. I no longer wish to be an actress, my commodities job fits me perfectly, I Praise God for his wisdom…and I pray daily for GREAT Editors.

I am so looking forward to getting back to my solitude in my nice quite studio.

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