The Earth’s Gifts Focus Gallery exhibit is now on display at the Folk Art Center – June 3 through August 30. The Folk Art Center is open daily from 10am-5pm.
” I live and work with clay in Meadows of Dan, Virginia. I make ceramic sculpture, animal whistles, wheel thrown pottery with colorful decoration, and some pieces combining thrown and hand built elements. I have worked mostly red earthenware clay since studying pottery as a student at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. There I was influenced by the historic Moravian pottery which was made from red clay with slip trailed decoration under a clear glaze. After college I worked at Owen’s Pottery in Winston Salem making many red clay flower pots. This began a working relationship with red earthenware clay that has continued through 47 years of clay work. During these years I’ve had my own clay studio and business. I have enjoyed teaching at several NC and VA craft schools and have exhibited my work in the region. I am an exhibiting member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
Clay animal whistles have been part of my work for many years. In 1984 while in Bassano, Italy I learned to make clay animal whistles from Italian potter Mario Scuro. His tradition of whistle making had been passed down through the generations of his pottery making family.
In Italy I also gained further appreciation for local red clay and low fire glaze decoration. I glaze and decorate my work using a variety of techniques such as majolica glaze, underglazes, slip and glaze-trailing, dotting, and sgraffito. I enjoy experimenting with combinations of colors, textures, and patterns. Through these elements, along with a sense of humor, I hope my work is pleasing to the hand, eye and imagination.” ~ Mary Dashiell