Twelve years ago, I traveled alone to Italy for a ceramics course with Tony Clennell.  I met three women who are now life long friends.  Pre-pandemic, we have met up annually in different parts of the world.  This past weekend, we traveled to Seattle.  Vicki organized a visit to Steve and Joan Sauer’s home and studio.  They live in Port Orchard, Washington on 20 lovely acres.  Steve and Joan shared their studio, art collection, walked their property, and learned about their anagama kiln. Plus a visit to the Kubota Gardens.

Four female clay artists

What do four ceramics artists do together for 4 days?  We talk about clay, food, clay, and more clay.  We were able to share what we are wrestling with and new successes since our last gathering.

Cyndi found a beached whale

Kubota Garden

kubota gardens

on the Ferry to Vashon Island Washington

Steve and Joan Sauer in front of their anagama wood fired kiln

Anagama wood fired kiln

outdoor garden sculpture

Chinese Terra Cotta Soldier

The Sauer Pottery gallery

Sauers Pottery

Tea bowl by steve sauer

pottery collection

See additional pictures from my NorthWest trip on my instagram account, .

Ferry rides and a visit to the Seattle Art Museum were fun, too.  Currently, there is an exhibit of Albert Giacometti’s art.  He focused on the human body most of his life creating abstracted versions of men and women first in clay and then in bronze.  During and after World War II, many artists found it difficult to focus on the human figure.  Albert abstracted solitary silhouettes and busts evoking presence and nothingness.  He created tactile and rough figures capturing both human fragility and resilience.  Jean-Paul Sartre commented on Giacometti’s work, “Never was substance less eternal, more fragile, more nearly human.”

Alberto giacometti

It was a whirlwind 5 days that I am grateful for having experienced.  It is feeling good to be traveling again.  My head and hands feel ready to get to work in the studio.  We have a community art show benefiting Grand Haven Schools Foundation on October 15.  Please try to attend and support 30 artists plus our schools.

Take care, Cyndi

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