Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Gig Harbor Open Studio Tour: Barb's clayworks

Living art is framed on the path to Barb's pottery cottage.

This weekend is the Greater Gig Harbor Open Studio Tour, and if you're close enough you should hightail it down here to be inspired by more than 20 artists who have opened their studios for free to the public. If you can't make it in person, you can visit each artist by clicking here: 

Today, I'm giving you a tour of my friend Barb Bourscheidt's pottery studio, which she built in her backyard. I've seen it in all seasons, and it is a wonderful retreat any time of year. She's No. 11 on the tour and her website is:

Sign at the entrance to Barb's studio.
Barb works the clay before it goes through the rollers.
Barb creates most of her work from slabs of clay, and one of her specialties is imprinting the pieces with molds made from leaves in her garden. On today's tour, she showed how she formed a leaf plate.

She flattens the clay by running it through this giant roller. She said she's even used it to flatten pastry in an emergency. (She's a great cook, too.)

Then she presses a leaf mold (made from leaves in her garden) into the clay and quickly cuts it out.
She lays it over a form (below) with a  hole in the middle that allows the center to drop down and form the bowl of the plate. Then she forms the ruffled edges with the artist's hand, guaranteeing that no two are alike.

After firing and glazing, she has a beautiful plate like the one below that I bought from her last year.

My friend Cheri, below, couldn't resist this gorgeous dish that looks like it was made to go with her outfit.

In fact, none of us could resist adding to our collections of Barb's art. Here we are gathered under the hops-covered trellis that leads to the studio.

Final words, from Barb's website:

"My pottery is organic by design, and leaving the mark of my hands on this medium which can last for thousands of years is intentional. In this day and age when so much around us is mass manufactured for the least cost possible, I feel it is important to produce work which reflects the human touch. The items I design and build in stoneware clay mirror my love of nature, the garden and the plants, and animals in it, and my love of food."

Have a colorful day


Julia said...

When I saw Susan, she told me about some leaf plates that she made in a class (at WomanSpace, I think) and they sounded a lot like the ones Barb makes.

Pam said...

Thanks for the tour, Sherrie, I felt like I was there, walking up that welcoming path right along with you! That sign at the front, "Take what you need..." is fantastic! Lovely way to begin my quiet Sunday, thanks :)

Barb said...

Wow Sherrie! You make me look so good!
I loved seeing you all yesterday! We really need to get together soon!