By Katelyn Bartholomew
Nineteen-year-old Natalie Bultman is caught in her element as she spins with concentration and technique. Fixating on the grooves and body of her piece as the wheel assists building its foundation. Just by observing the singular piece, it is obvious Bultman has mastered the art.
Starting her fourth semester here at GRCC, art major Bultman has had a passion for art for as long as she can remember. However, it was not until middle school when pottery made an impact in her life as she “landed in an advanced art class” in eighth grade. As she began to learn, countless possibilities and future opportunities developed which made her believe that pottery could be more than just a hobby. During her last two years of high school Bultman became serious with her skill and continued to practice it all the way up to college. With the influence of grade school and college professors who had “stepped out of their way” and “connected with” Bultman, she was given the chance to fulfill her full potential as a ceramic artist.
Bultman’s pottery has been featured in GRCC’s Display magazine and she recently had her first pottery in Rockford. She had the pleasure of teaching kids pottery classes at the Cook Art Center and is thriving as a student.
“I’ve known Natalie about a year or year and a half now, and she is just a fantastic student,” said pottery professor Scott Garrard. “She’s very creative, and has an extreme initiative.”
“She’s really interested in the functionality of things and the contemporary mindset, which is more like the idea of the thing. She combines those two in her work,” said Scott.
He went on to detail her work.
“She has a big interest in how art can benefit a person as a whole and possibly psychology (like art therapy). So you take all that together and she’s just a really good person,” said Scott.
Her passion for art continues to grow as she builds herself more as an artist. Her humble nature inspires many around her as she shares her love for the skill and how much it has impacted her life.
“It’s a distraction where you can send all your problems away (and) it can be healing” Bultman said. “It’s my space. I can think, process, and create.”
Due to the busyness of this semesters’ classes, Bultman hasn’t had the time like she did over the summer to jump back on her wheel as much as she would like to.
“Come fall, classes hit, clogging up brain space,” explains Bultman.
With all hobbies and passions, they sometimes get set aside in an effort to focus on school, but practicing a passion can also be a good way to take a mental break.
“My favorite part is having that freedom,” says Bultman, “It never gets old.”
To see some of Natalie Bultman’s work, find her on Instagram at Natalie Celeste Studio.
Feature Editor Maxx Kriger contributed to this report.
Editor’s Note: The photos published with this story have been updated to more accurately depict the artist’s work. The original photos that were posted contained a mix of work by the featured artist and others.