Spring into Art Tour!

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VIVA Studio Tour, May 4th-5th and 11th-12th, 10am-5pm each day, map/brochures available at most Island businesses or online at VIVArtists.com

Potter Estavan Roache’s earliest memories of clay go back to his childhood in Schenectady, NY, on a sunny day scratching around in a pile of dirt. He felt a chunk of sparkly substance, and kept going, learning from the substance itself. From this young experience he grew into a life that “required” clay. As he moved into the bigger world he was continually “in awe of this material, dreaming into it, consulting it–and was never denied a rich experience”. For her part, Renee Marceau began her artist’s life beachcombing as a kid, finding objects from nature and having “conversations” with them. Her work for Tour will include assemblages in small frames, wearable pouches and rattles all including items from farm and nature and studio. Estavan and Renee are now inhabiting their new studio, “Roots and Dreams,” (#7 on the Tour) and will be welcoming folks to visit during VIVA Studio Tour.

At “Zuzko Jewelry” (studio #12) visitors can climb a stairway above scenic Quartermaster Harbor to visit jeweler Zuzana Korbelarova.  Zuzana got her start ten years ago when her husband, Jason, gave her the gift of 1 oz of silver wire, a set of pliers and a “wire wrapping” class at Fusion Beads in Seattle.  She uses this intricate weaving and wrapping technique with gold and silver wire to make designs for which she creates names such as “DNA”, “Defensed”, “Jacks”, “Coined” and  “Riptide”.  Some of her pieces that she calls “transformers” can be manipulated to change the look, making them cool and interactive. Precious gems enter the picture too, procured from a gem show in Tucson. This studio visit is definitely worth the climb!

Brian Fisher began working with an etching press in 1997 at Vashon’s Quartermaster Press and became completely enamored of print process, particularly monotype print and its infinite possibilities. He says, “All the art I make- print, oil on canvas, my garden sculpture, even my assemblage art, in some way employs or is informed by monotype printmaking.”  His passion is story and his imagery is grounded in the lessons of classical mythology.  “Myth is a subject without an end and monotype print is a wonderfully versatile medium for sharing myth’s messages.”  Brian’s studio is #16 on the Tour, down on Reddings Beach Rd.

Margaret Smith

Also on Reddings Beach Road is Margaret Smith (studio#17), for the first time opening her basket making studio to visitors for Art Studio Tour. Of her first introduction to her craft (a show at Seattle Art Museum), she writes: “My heart pounded and I wept when I beheld the baskets in the glass cabinet. The visceral connection I felt upon gazing at First People Salish baskets at the museum awoke in me a passion to make baskets.” And later, “I love to stand or sit grounded and grateful among cattail, bulrush, cedar or sweetgrass feeling the presence of the many weavers who passed here before me.  The process of gathering and preparing the fibers is integral to the making.”  Indeed, Margaret’s excitement shines as she shows me her various plants in various stages of preparation.  Maybe more excited before the making as after!

Visitors to Dockton Pottery, Gale Lurie Studio (#23 on the Tour), visitors will find a group show of skilled artists offering paintings, stained glass, jewelry and weavings brought together by potter Gale Lurie.  Asked how she found her way to clay, she responds:             “Right after I moved to Seattle upon graduating from college and getting my first job through the mail with Seattle Public Schools, I walked past a community center near my school and decided to peek in.  I was immediately hooked by the pottery class.  I thought, “If I take this class, I can make a set of dishes.”  Now, many, many years later, I still haven’t made the set, although I have the skills to do it.  I love almost all the aspects of being a studio potter, from wedging to forming, trimming, glazing and firing my work.  Recycling clay is still not my favorite! I’ve tried so many different clay bodies, glazes and firing techniques, but there are always more to keep me excited about pottery.  My work is almost all one of a kind functional pieces, although I also do quite a bit of Raku work as well as teach workshops in this technique and have been published in several books about Raku ware. I even dream about pieces I’d like to make!”

This is just a sampling of what VIVA Studio Tour visitors will find on this season’s Tour! Look for a map online at www.VIVArtists.com or pick up a color brochure with a map at most Island businesses. Grab a friend and enjoy this free event, May 4-5 and 11-12, 10am-5pm.