First Annual Midcoast Potters Tour August 8 & 9


George Pearlman: Orange Vase

Do the loop!

Seven inspired studio potters – from the St. George Peninsula up the St. George River Valley farmlands and along the Penobscot Bay coast – open their doors to visitors on August 8 & 9. The seven participating studios will be open from 10 to 4 each day, welcoming tourists and clay aficionados alike to their workshops and galleries. It’s a great opportunity to learn about their studios, working methods, kilns and processes and to shop for finished pieces,  knowing that your purchase is supporting the local creative economy of the midcoast.

Participants in the loop:
George Pearlman, of St. George, has shown his work internationally and has been the recipient of numerous grants, residencies, and teaching positions throughout the U.S.A. and abroad. A potter for 30 years, he established George Pearlman Pottery in 1999 by designing and constructing his three story building over seven months in 1998. His large, colorful vases are one of a kind.

Hanako Nakazato, of Union and Karatsu, Japan, is a 14th generation potter, rooted in the traditions of her family, but her years in the West have influenced her shapes and surfaces. A wide variety of simple functional pieces are available at many galleries and shops in the US and Japan.

Betsy Levine, of Liberty, built her soda kiln and established Prescott Hill Pottery in 2006. Formerly a painter, her incised technique and atmospheric “painting” make her high-fire stoneware and porcelain tableware, storage jars, vases and evocative vessels unique. Her work can be found in collections in the US and UK, as well as in local galleries and shops.

Barbara Walch, of Thorndike, has been making handbuilt pottery since 1973. She is one of the few American potters who work primarily with the pinch technique. Her handcrafted stoneware dinnerware is distinctive and appealing. Barbara and her husband, Charlie Krause, are the proprietors of Fire Flower Garden, where her studio has been since 1989. She also offers extensive cottage gardens, cutting beds and a roadside plant stand.

Jody Johnstone, of Swanville, established her studio in 1996, when she began the design and construction of a 24-foot long Anagama tunnel kiln after a two-year apprenticeship in Bizen, Japan. Jody makes a wide range of tableware, vases, and large garden jars, firing similarly to the way they did in Bizen, though she has gradually discovered new techniques, especially in glazing and loading. Her strong forms are blessed by the path of the flame through her kiln.

Siem van der Ven, of Lincolnville, worked as a goldsmith, carpenter/builder, and art educator. While still teaching, Siem earned an MFA  concentrating his studies on ceramics and drawing. Van der Ven’s distinctive work, characterized by meticulous and delicate carving, has won awards in several national juried competitions. It is held in both private and public collections including the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, the Canton Museum of Fine Arts, and Harrisburg Community College.

Autumn Cipala, of Rockland, discovered working with clay in 1992, while a student of painting at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. From that point her engagement in the Ceramic Arts has directed her to many wonderful learning and teaching experiences throughout the United States and abroad.  She holds a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and an MFA from University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Autumn’s luminous work in translucent porcelain is inspired by nature and the work from many cultures, from China to Western Asia, North Africa, and the Americas.