Designing a Life Like We Design Our Art | Steve Rolf | Episode 187

Steve Rolf | Episode 187

Steven Rolf

Steven Rolf White butter dishS. C. Rolf lives and works as a studio potter in River Falls, WI, creating one-of-a-kind functional pots. His work reflects an ongoing search to unite his ideas with the generosity and the intimacy that the functional pot offers.
S. C. Rolf holds multiple degrees in Art and exhibits his work nationally and internationally. Rolf has received a number of national and international awards. He lectures and teaches workshops throughout the country. His work has been included in numerous publications, Museum collections, and Kitchens cupboards.

Steven Rolf Trilobite vase


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Steven Rolf Teapot

What matters most to you in life?

What matters most to me really is my spiritual frame work. Who am I? Where do I come from? What am I designed to do? That allows me a certain sense of peace and a sense that I am here for something. So my spiritual underpinnings are really important to me. It helps me to know how to relate to my family and take care of people around me. And in my work in the studio I see so much orchestration in how I am making these particles to come together to be something.  I think it is the same way in life and my spirituality that this life is orchestrated. This is not random occurrences.

Steven Rolf teabowl 2

How are you a road sign for those following you?

The one thing I think I can be is a bit of a cheerleader. The great thing about living in this area in Wisconsin right on the boarder of Minnesota I am close to a hub of a huge ceramic activity in the St Croix River Valley. It is one of the hot spots in the country. So there are a lot of young people who I connect with and at any given point it seems like I am mentoring some young person. If I can be anything to them, I hope it is a cheerleader. A lot of them are way more talented than I am. If I can just cheer them on, then that is one thing that I can do.

Steven Rolf large scalloped bowl

How do you keep yourself on course?


I think good friends that are honest with me. I have good friends of different walks of life both in mud and out of mud, who are pretty honest with me. I ask them periodically to be honest with me to tell me if I am getting off course or if they see me being an idiot, or any other thing.

Steven Rolf folded rim bowl 150dpi jpg

What is your greatest distraction?

Isn’t that the greatest question? There are so many distractions in society. I think the greatest distraction can be having too many balls in the air because I am not too talented at keeping that many balls in the air. That can distract me from figuring out what I am supposed to be doing. I can tend to try and give them all equal weight, but that is impossible.

Steven Rolf Cut foot jar

How do you say YES to the correct things?

Can I turn that question just a little bit? I think it is very difficult to say no to incredible opportunities that are laid at your feet. They might be really good for you and your career, but they might take away from something else. There have been opportunities that I have said no to even though it would be great, but it would take me away from making these pots right now and having a family life. So if I add this other thing, it would be a distraction. So though it is a good thing, I have to say no.

Book Cover

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis 

Steven Rolf Cap Jar

Where do you want to be in five years?


There are a couple bodies of work that I haven’t had time to investigate. So in five years I would love to be able to be fleshing out those bodies of work. I would also love to expand a few things that I started working on a number of years ago. We have something called the Western Wisconsin Pottery Tour here. It has been a really good been a really good venue and way to reach the public. I would like to make a finer point in getting out into my local community here. I feel as though I am more involved nationally than I am in my own backyard sometimes.

Steven Rolf Blue Teapot Steven Rolf Altered Bowl


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