A self guided studio tour of Berkshire County Potters
Made by hand on the potters wheel, one piece at a time, Daniel Bellow Porcelain is non-toxic, dishwasher and microwave-safe, and with proper care should last for hundreds of years. Things that are made by hand have a life of their own, a spirit, that machine made objects, no matter how well designed, cannot hope to match
I measure the pots with my fingers and adjust the kiln according to the sound of the burners and the color of the flame, so some variation in size, shape and color is to be expected and valued for its objective integrity. This is the whole point of handmade pottery in a machine world where everyone agrees the highest and best use of silica is in the manufacture of microchips for computers.
The clay I use comes from ancient mountaintops washed down into stream beds over millions of years of rainy days. When my bones have crumbled to dust and this website is forgotten, archaeologists yet unborn will excavate my studio and find pieces of pottery with my stamp on them.
Lorimer Burns came to ceramics from the world of downtown dance where she earned her BFA from NYU. Lorimer took her first wheel class at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires and has since studied with such masters as Malcolm Davis, Val Cushing and Sue Browdy as well as many other inspired artists. If she had known how much cleaning up is involved in studio life, she would not have fallen in love with clay. She is a faculty artist at IS183 and Community Access to The Arts. She maintains Borealis Studio/Lorimer Burns Ceramics in Housatonic, MA.
Ben Evans grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York. At an early age he was creating and knew a career in art was his path. During his formative years he spent time on the Hudson river, which gave him a love for boats and the water, influences that can be seen in much of his work.
Ben received his BFA in Ceramics from The State University of New York at New Paltz in 2007 after which he started working as the Ceramic Studio Manager and teaching at IS183 Art School in Stockbridge, MA. Ben’s work can be found in many cupboards in Berkshire County and the Hudson Valley. When not in his West Stockbridge studio he can be found rolling down beautiful country roads or carving down mountain sides.
Ben’s recent work focuses on geometry and structure in architectural themes reduced to a handheld scale. The subtle geometric lines of each piece can be appreciated by sight as well as touch. Ben formulates his glazes to highlight the clean lines of his porcelain work. By using a palette of rich colors paired with neutrals users are able to mix and match pieces to compliment their unique style. Ben focuses on the comfort and functionality of each piece to insure people will never want to stop using it.
Ellen Grenadier has been making tableware, custom tiles, and murals for over 30 years. Twenty years ago a move to the countryside and wooded trails of the Berkshire Hills deeply influenced her work. This current line of tableware and wall art incorporates impressions of the natural world in elegant bowls, platters, dinnerware, tea and coffee service, vases and more. All work is made in stoneware and glazed with natural cobalt blues, copper greens and ambers made from iron...all food safe and meant to be used. Her work is a stylish blend of well crafted refined form and rich serfaces that are alive with subtle texture and color.
The images that follow in the Galleries are samples of current work. Similar pieces or custom work can be ordered by calling 413 528 9973.
Paula Shalan is the second in three generations of potters. Based in Stockbridge, she was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and The Art Institute of Chicago. She exhibits nationally at galleries and retail shows including Craft Boston andThe Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and is represented by Susan Maasch Fine Art in Portland, Maine. Her new series of pots were inspired by line and pattern seen in the birches, lichen, and rocks of Schoodic Point at Acadia National Park, where Shalan spent last September as artist-in-residence. This September, she has been awarded a residency in The Dune Shacks on the outer cape through the Cape Cod National Seashore. Shalan has been an active teacher in art and ceramic centers, private and public schools, and museums for over 25 years.
Linda Skipper spent her early life in Atlanta, studying art at the High Museum of Art and at Georgia State University. After moving to NYC and finishing an MFA degree at Pratt she studied Scenic Art and Design at the Lester Polakov Studio and then enjoyed a 30 year career as a Scenic Artist on many television and film productions. Most wonderfully, she spent 20 years as the Head Scenic Artist for the whole run of the original "Law and Order".
Now, having transitioned from part time to living full time in the Berkshires, she had focused her artist's instincts on working with porcelain. She creates vessels using the most basic tools in her artist's vocabulary - line, space, scale, contrast, a pure white surface to add movement to, carefully chosen color to carve through, and the subtle order of pattern, symetry and repetition.
All of her work is wheel thrown and intricately hand carved. Her goal is to create peaceful, luminous, and balanced pieces that will be appreciated and enjoyed, equally as a beautiful vase or bowl living on a shelf, or as a working vessel that builds a relationship over time with its owner.