There’s something mesmerizing about the clay creations of longtime Eau Claire artist Eric Holey of Dancing Cat Arts pottery. His most popular bowl seamlessly blends natural navy, green, and tan hues, creating a vibrant version of the northern lights that dance across the sky each winter, if you’re lucky enough to see them. And that vibrancy and passion has been at the center of Holey’s work at his pottery studio for over a decade.
“When I’m centering clay on the wheel, I feel like I’m centering my life.” –Eric Holey, Dancing Cat Arts
What draws people to Dancing Cat Arts pottery are the high-quality commercial glazes in medium-to-dark, natural colors, and dashes in his creativity by blending colors in unique ways. All of his glazes are hand brushed in a swirling pattern, which creates the unique appearance of movement that is signature of his work.
“It brought out creativity I didn’t know I had,” he said. Holey has always been drawn to bowls, he said, even in his younger years. “That form is so graceful,” he said. “The outside edges, to me, are the most important part of the bowl. You have to know how to do it well to create strong walls so they don’t collapse, and I’ve learned some techniques to do that. And I love making bowls. They really speak to me. My wife says, ‘It all started with a bowl.’ ”
“I thought, for a cat to dance, it would have to be really happy,” said owner Eric Holey. “Doing pottery makes me really happy.” That inspired the name “Dancing Cat Arts.”