Barbara Ewing

As a toddler I followed my father into the garden to make mud pies in the rich red clay soil he was preparing for his vegetables. I fell in love with this amazingly pliable substance and could not realize then how much clay forming would become such an important component in my life. Almost six decades later, I’m still playing in the mud.
The high school I attended, in Bucks County, PA, offered both fine art and craft classes which provided me with three fortunate years of fine arts and ceramics. Beginning in 1969, for two years, I attended Alfred University, a well known ceramic art college in New York State. The 70’s and early 80’s found me in Santa Fe, NM where I was strongly influenced by pueblo potters’ hand building, decorating and firing techniques. I went back to college at that time and earned a BA degree in history, with a minor in Art. After moving to Port Townsend in 1985, I organized my first studio and taught several classes. In the 90’s, most summers found me attending ceramic art seminars and varied one and two week intensive workshops at the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
I also lived in Scotland on two separate occasions. I joined the Scottish Potters Association, attended several workshops there, and taught ceramics at a community center outside of Aberdeen. It was there that I started making Celtic stamps from moist clay and, once fired, could use them to make impressions in the objects I was working on. From that beginning I have made clay stamps, purchased rubber stamps, and used found objects to impress the clay that I form into the vases, jars, pins and other objects you see before you. I find that folding and bending the clay makes intriguing distortions from the stamped impressions. Then, glazing becomes magical when the stampings affects the flow of the glaze over the raised and depressed surfaces. No two objects can ever be exactly the same, which I value and enjoy.
Most days you can find me working in my studio or garden; my hands happily in the clay and the dirt. Mud pies still rule!

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