Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Great Western Studio Tour - Bets Cole and Our Town Pottery

Saturday October 25th and I'm now 65 years and 5 days old and haven't noticed the difference from when I turned 30 other than the fact that there are cell phones the size of a business card case, there are a gazillion TV channels, and movies cost as much as bicycle (which used to only have one gear) and water cost money.

So on this beautiful day Sharyn and I took off for Elmira, Oregon to visit a part of the Artists Studio Tour in the Greater Eugene area.

Represented at these closely aligned studios were Bets Cole (Paintings) and Michael and Jeani (Pottery Artists from Our Town Pottery) 

The setup was in a beautiful area of Oregon and Bets works were in the tents to the left and Our Town Pottery was on the right. The wooden building in between is the pottery studio. 

Sharyn walked in and met Jeani and started the tour. 

Bets Cole had a great variety of her work on display.

Sharyn said this wonderful image reminded her of the house that blew away in the movie Shipping News. I have to agree and I loved this painting.

Sharyn just loved the painting to the left of the "High Desert" 

Depth of the sky in this and many of Bets Cole's  work add to the grandeur in her open landscapes .

This was a good holder for her art because the wind did blow at times and finding a safe place to display was tricky.

Our Town Pottery is unique and very colorful ...

... and the variety of objects was very wide. 

I was wishing we had stumbled along their work when I was younger we wouldn't have had to get our pottery at the Shell Gas station with every fill up of $6.

Just gorgeous work. I think if I overheard her correctly Michael throws and forms the pottery and Jeani then paints them before glazing. But here is a clearer description of their operation from their own website:
With their desire to create pottery that enhances everyday life, potters Jeani Holder and Michael Baines continue exploring this old, yet new, medium. Fostering a greater appreciation for arts and crafts, for handmade objects and the vision, skill and discipline required to create them, is the goal they hope to achieve through their handmade, handpainted pottery. 

Using red earthenware clay, Michael creates wheelthrown platters, plates, bowls, teapots, vases and pitchers with handles, spouts, lids and knobs. Jeani slabforms functional trays and discs, using found objects as molds - old light fixtures, plastic baskets, garden saucers, wooden dowels and rope. Collaborating with Michael on designs which are inspired by international folkart, beadwork, nature, textiles and their love of fine foods, Jeani handpaints, dots and sliptrails each piece with colorful underglazes and finishes them with bright, shining clear glaze. The result is beautiful, fully functional pottery for the festivities of everyday life. 

Beautiful designs - visit their website [click here] for more information

I really like their wood fired pizza oven ...

... with Mr.Potato Head on top.

Roll over fido - what a wonderful dog and very friendly.

Here is a closer view of the pottery studio.

OK here is my artistic shot of the day. 

There is another pottery work area on the opposite side of the yard.

And plenty of fire wood stored for the winter.

I love the functionality of an artist's studio. I think artists are the most organized people I know although most don't like to admit it.

Bets was kind enough to take us by her studio a short walk to the south in her home. 

The studio of an artist says a lot about their nature. Bets studio was full of natural light, family images and views of the nature that surrounds her home.  To really understand the warmth of a home you only need to meet Bets and her family and see the love that surrounds her days.

Beautiful works, some in progress and others she keeps close cover the walls, floors and every spare easel

I know this is a recent painting because Bets said it was done at a Plein Air outing to Schreiner's Iris Gardens recently. 

We had a great time and met several people I hope to see again and one friend who introduced me to Art in the Eugene Area, Renee Manford. You can visit her web site at

Scrabble Score - Scrabble Queen 312 - The Contender 289

Quote of the Day - 
The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation. ~ Auguste Rodin 


s said...

some great pics paul of a beautiful day filled with beautiful people i so enjoyed meeting, and seeing renee again; as well as some stunning artwork. as i said, if only we were in an acquiring mode....oh and we still have piece of our first "china" set from the filling station. our youngest, isaac, says the boys will fight over this family heirloom. lol

Anonymous said...

Beautiful blog


©Paul Viel