Anvil Catlin Williamson

Works by Anvil Catlin Williamson open Friday at Wandering Bear Gallery in an exhibit titled "Pressed." Gary Black/News-Miner

A Fairbanks artist whose work is centered around ceramics is opening her first solo exhibit tonight at Wandering Bear Gallery.

Anvil Williamson’s show, “Pressed,” opens at the gallery at 3501 Lathrop St., Unit B, with a reception from 5-8 p.m. It’s free to attend and open to the public.

Born in Spokane, Washington, and calling Fairbanks home for 11 years now, she’s a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Art’s degree. She fell in love with ceramics because, as a medium, it offers so much with which to work, she said, adding that clay can mimic almost any texture or surface.

“The variables are never ending,” Willamson said, explaining it is the mutable quality of clay that intrigues her. “Modern ceramics is experiencing a cool resurgence.”

Her exhibit, “Pressed,” focuses on the conflict we feel between wanting to control something in your life or submitting to it, she said.

“I tend to have themes in my work that include a little mechanical component, and that sort of symbolizes an exterior influence, like divine intervention,” Williamson said.

For example, one series of works in her show features ceramic beetles but each beetle is fitted with a mechanical control device, not unlike real-life technology being used today to turn beetles into human-controlled drones. 

Several of the pieces in “Pressed” are inspired by the insect and natural world, and most of her pieces combine elements control and submission. 

“I want people to come in and be thoughtful about the ways we use people or the resources around us,” she said.

Contact Features Editor Gary Black at 4598-7504 or at