Join us at First Thursday, February 7th to meet our guest artists- Mary Huels and Barbara Kaempf Matkowski.
During the February 7th, First Thursday from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, enjoy the music by Guy Liv and Miz Mary, light snacks, and help us celebrate these artists’ fine work.
Mary Huels- Dancing Tree Pottery
An accidental artist – that’s what I consider myself to be.
While working full-time as a forester, I wandered into the evening “Ceramic Art” class at Lower Columbia College. I’d never been considered to be very “artistic”, but found I liked playing with clay and had a little aptitude. I took pottery classes off and on (mostly off) for many years from Richard Roth and Trudy Woods.
Fed up with my forestry job, I left it in 2005 and became a casual hire wildland firefighter. Spring through fall, I go when and where they send me to work on fires, both on the fire line as a supervisor and safety officer, or in camp as an information officer. It’s a strange lifestyle, but it pays the bills.
The rest of the year, I play with clay when the weather is too bad for gardening. Pottery lets me challenge myself to do something different and better, to be literally “constructive” with my free time. (“Go do something constructive” was a frequent admonition from my parents.)
My non-clay art education is limited to what I learned through eighth grade (close to nothing). After many years working with trees and watching them grow, I seem to have absorbed the ability to draw trees. Each of my trees is individually drawn, with no two ever growing quite the same. Sometimes I can identify which species I’ve drawn, but many are “maples and oaks”, which cover a lot of growth forms. Obviously I like trees. I hope you enjoy them, too.
My pottery is fired to Cone 10 (2340˚) for a durable finish. These items are food-safe, microwavable, and dishwasher-safe.
Barbara Kaempf Matkowsi- Contemporary Painter
Each day I cannot wait to get into my studio to start putting paint on a surface, building up, sanding down, layering, revealing, covering over. Throughout this push-pull of adding and subtracting, I’m constantly unsatisfied with a piece, covering up areas I don’t like, windowing out areas I do, layering, adding glazes, scribbling with a pencil or oil stick, often not knowing what I’m doing or wanting.
I just keep affecting the surface each day, and then something always begins to work and it starts to be fun. Shadows or textures of earlier marks show through, or a glaze over scratches is interesting, and I’m suddenly happy. As always, it’s the unsatisfied covering up, layering and random ’fixing’ that ends up to be the very aspect that makes me most happy with a piece.