Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Why are our artists so enthused that the Studio Tour is almost upon us? Well, the easy answer is that each artist creates a “pop up” store to sell their unique work. And that’s true. But you might be surprised by the complexity of the emotions that our members express about coming face-to-face with our supporters.
Here’s what painter/sculptor Anne Rule Thompson has to say. “I really look forward to the studio tour since moving my studio to my home. I love the quiet peaceful environment of my home studio, but miss sharing creative energy and ideas with other people. In the days that follow the tour weekend, I find myself thinking about specific people and conversations while wishing I had more time to chat. “
Studio Potters Ren and Pam Parziale are inspired by our customers who share the reasons why they love pottery. "Many have traveled to other countries. Decades ago, a customer brought some dishes to show us from Indonesia. Another gave us a cup from China. Customers become friends, like Teddy and Peggy Mastroiani, who encouraged us to travel to Sicily. And we did, several times, and spent time on the Aeolian Isles when we received a travel grant from the WV Div. Of Culture & History. As a result of these experiences, our work changed - new shapes, a different glaze palette, and the gift of meeting clay workers in Italy and Sicily.”
Did you ever think your visit and your questions might be inspiring the artist or re-energizing their work?
Woodturner Neil Super has a different take. “There are two types of encounters with the public that stand out for me. One is when a person shows genuine interest in the process of making a particular object, asking pertinent questions about how - and sometimes why - I did what I did. The other is when I’ve encouraged someone - often a child - to handle a piece, and they point out something about it I hadn’t noticed. ‘Those knots look like eyes, or this reminds me of a smooth seashell, or this little hole is the window where the light comes in.’ I love those encounters.”
Potter Esther Murphy agrees. “I enjoy sharing my finished work, but what I most enjoy is sharing the process. As a member of an active group of potters I sometimes have an opportunity to demonstrate the potters’ wheel in public at a festival or street fair. It always draws a crowd of kids who want to try it, or adults that want to share their stories of pottery classes in high school or college. Sometimes they walk away with a list of classes, planning to get their hands dirty again. That’s the best feedback.”
So don’t be afraid to ask about the process, about how the artist chose to make the many decisions that go into a piece of art or craft. Don’t be afraid to ask about the difficult times. What does the artist do when they are feeling untalented and blocked?
From fiber artist Diane Meyers “I love to hear what people plan to do with the items they obtain from me ---are they gifting them, using them themselves, etc. I just love to hear that someone is purchasing a shawl for someone who is 'always cold' or purchasing a table runner for an adult child who is renting their first apartment, and so forth. I like to make people happy.”
Artists feed on stories. We paint, craft and carve stories. Tell us about what you plan to do with your precious purchase.
So in other words, we need you - and we hope you need us.
The Studio Tour is 10-5 on Sat November 12 and Sunday November 13. Everything you need including a map is at www.overthemountainstudiotour.com. See you soon.