Tuesday, February 3, 2009

ABC Wednesday - "C"



ABC Wednesday was created by Mrs. Nesbitt. Please visit the ABC Wednesday site to view others' interpretations of this week's letter, "C."


"C" is for Ceramics

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of taking my younger sister, Carol, to visit a fascinating place in the northwest part of Arkansas: Terra Studios, located in the community of Durham. Terra Studios is perhaps best known for producing those sweet little blown-glass Blue Birds of Happiness that one can find in gift shops almost everywhere. Perhaps not as widely known are the wonderful ceramic pieces they produce. I am the very happy owner of the piece in the first three photos, the work of potter Marty Reed.




The vessel, as I would call it ("pot" is entirely too common a name for it), is a bit over 12" wide at the widest point, which includes the face, shaped in relief so that it stands out from the rounded sides of the vessel itself. The two photos below may give you a better idea of the relief.




I fell in love with this when I first saw it in the showroom , but it was priced beyond my means, and so I left it there, with a parting caress, thinking it would be only a pleasant memory. Imagine my surprise when, a couple of months after the visit, a large package arrived on my door step. Inside, very carefully wrapped, was this beautiful vessel containing a card which read "Happy Birthday! Love, Carol." It has held a place of honor in my home ever since.



In addition to the smaller ceramic pieces displayed in the showroom, the artists at Terra Studios also produced some very large pieces which were on display in the grounds surrounding the studio. During my visit, I took photos of many of them, two of which are shown below (these were scanned from hard copy photos.)





This representation of the Native American dwellings at Mesa Verde, Colorado, is composed of individually cast ceramic pieces, fitted together as a mural, and is at least 12 feet in width. I found it fascinating.


The dragon in the photo below (sorry for the visual clutter in the background) is 5 to 6 feet high. I learned through inquiry that it was fired in a single piece, in a very, very large kiln! Amazing!





I'm way overdue for a re-visit to Terra Studios. I hope the dragon and the murals have stood the test of time and are still on display. Come warm weather, I think a trip to northwest Arkansas may be in order.

29 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Absolutely gorgeous, Pat... Those clay pieces are incredible. You are so lucky to have them!!!!

Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Beautiful ceramics. I can understand why you like it so much!

Carol is a gem. How special that she purchased something for you that she knew you'd love.

Snap said...

Oh, wow! I think I'll come and visit you and we can go see the dragon!

Tumblewords: said...

I love the style of this ceramic piece. It seems to tell stories of its own.

Rose said...

Loved this post, Pat. And that vessel will warm your heart for the rest of your life--with it's beauty and with the thoughtfulness of Carol.

Gordon said...

I can see why you fell in love with it; beautiful. The larger exhibits are fascinating also.

Hilary said...

Lovely pieces. It looks like a place I'd love to visit. Your sister knows you well. I bet she's known for finding the perfect gifts for her relatives and friends.

Lene said...

I have never seen anything like it before. Amazing :)

Reader Wil said...

Very impressive and absolutely stunning! I can understand that you fell in love with the vessel in the first two photos!.They are gorgeous!

RuneE said...

Ceramics is a very interesting theme, and it can contain much more that most people think of.

Thank you for sharing.

Liz said...

That must have been a big kiln!

Your vessel is beautiful. It looks like leather. What a talented potter.

Miss_Yves said...

Impressive Art, and gorgeous photos !
I discover another world, another culture !

jinksy said...

That glorious piece of pottery is truly a work of art - I love it, and would have bankrupted myself rather than walk away from it, once discovered, so just as well you saw it first!

Carolina said...

What a lovely present from your friend. Amazing to see such large ceramic pieces. Hubs is into ceramics, he has a kiln and turns vases and pots and what-have-you. And he sometimes fires them Raku, which is exciting. You never know what comes out of the fire and if it's stil in one piece.

splummer said...

Hi!
Beautiful ceramics!! I really like that dragon, he's cute!! Have a great day!!

Sherrie

ellen b said...

Oh how very cool! What great pieces and how blessed you are to be gifted with the one you admired!

Sherry Peyton said...

What a lovely piece, Pat, and what a great story of how you acquired it!

Carol said...

Great photos... love your "pot" and can see why you were drawn to it... I did ceramics yrs ago and so enjoyed it...

Hyde DP said...

The large dragon must have been bot to handle in and out of the kiln!

Dragonstar said...

Your pot is absolutely beautiful! I did some pottery many years ago, and I can really appreciate the skill involved here. I adore that dragon!

Thanks for your entry.

nina said...

What a nice surprise form a friend, another "C"!

Celeste said...

I love ceramics so I really enjoyed your post, that dragon is very cool, how incredible that they managed to fire it in one piece.

nonizamboni said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting place and stunning pottery & sculture. Loved the dragon too.
Happy Wednesday!

Dee said...

That is so cool.

Alan said...

Interesting stuff. I like the big wall sculpture.

onangelwings said...

Wow...pretty incredible.

rhymeswithplague said...

Great post and great pieces of pottery and art! You would enjoy the Gilcrease museum in Sand Springs, Oklahoma (a suburb of Tulsa) with its collection of western and native American art.

Jay said...

Those are incredible - ALL of them! I love the bowl, and I could see the relief even in the front-on shot. That is a very strong piece, done with love, I would say. What a wonderful gift!

The 'wall' is incredible.

ramblingwoods.com said...

Oh..how lovely to get it as a gift. I have always been interested in Native history...