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Art Studio Tour: Driven By Art!

Karen Fevold decorating a pot
Karen Fevold decorating a pot

It might start with material, process, idea or feeling. And then, the work of the artist begins to propel itself!  The regular rhythm of the Art Studio Tours each December and May certainly drives the productivity of the artists, who structure their work cycles around their studio sales. 

Here at Liz Lewis Pottery and Friends (#22 on the Tour map), Karen Fevold, Marla Smith and I chat while we make pots.  We are in the studio now every day and sometimes into the night.  Karen is determined to make time for experimentation while maintaining her production goals.  Her decorating process, “sgraffito,” involves skillful carving through the white slip to the terracotta clay beneath.  On some pieces she waxes the surface before carving and inlays a color into the lines—lovely!    Marla uses porcelain for her slab built ware.  Though challenging to work with, porcelain has a luminous look, a luscious feel and the ring of excellence! Marla carefully crafts her functional forms, giving attention to the smallest details.  Her pots are both elegant and engaging!  In my work, I find small changes happen with intense production –an old favorite form morphs into a slightly new one, the new bright orange finds its way into the arrangement of concentric colors, a request from a customer blooms into a brief re-emergence of the old rose pattern… 

A visit to the Beall Greenhouses might include a philosophical conversation with basalt stone sculptor Anthony Kaufmann 3000bc Studios (#19 on the tour), and a glimpse of the powerful tools and process of his art form.  Also at the historic Beall location resides the Quartermaster Press studio (#18), a congenial group of printmakers who share with visitors their passion for using an array of printing techniques to create their offered prints, cards and calendars.
It’s fun to visit Alex and Jean Echevarria at WabiSabi Studios (#20).  Jean is a print maker specializing in reduction wood block prints—she will happily tell you  how it is done.   Her designs are simple and evocative.  Alex carves concrete Jizo garden sculpture figures—mostly kind, sometimes sternly protective. 

Morgan Brig makes “playful and unorthodox” figures and animals from clay, metal, cloth and found objects.   Narrative titles make us look, then think, and then, look again!  This season Ken Widmeyer will present his watercolor landscapes in the studio with Morgan (#7).  His painting of our Pt Robinson lighthouse is featured on the cover of our Art Studio Tour brochure!

Uptown , Open Studio Building@Hinge Gallery will be fun to check out.  Brent Houston has made some captivating etchings of simple Vashon Island scenes we love.  Author Jesse Johnson will co-exhibit his amazing text-based prints!
Out on Dilworth, visit our island bell maker, Gordon R. Barnett at Studio#28.  He creates beautiful, wearable resonant miniatures cast in sterling, bronze and gold. Musical jewelry!  And on down Glen Acres Rd (keep going, you haven’t missed it!), visit #29, Erin Schulz Studio, to drink in the beauty of her classical oil paintings (many sizes and subjects).
All these studios and many, many more!  The Art Studio Tour is a 2 weekend event, Dec 2&3 and 9&10 from 10am-4pm.  Plan on taking more than one ride out to the far reaches of this island to visit the studios, enjoy the art, the community and the occasion, and do some special shopping!

Pick up a tour brochure, available at most island businesses, or go online to www.VashonIslandArtStudioTour.com for a color map, and descriptions of the 32 stops.  Invite a friend or two and do the Art Tour!