(A GRAND TOUR): Take a trip on the 10th annual Prescott Area Artists’ Studio Tour

Sep 1, 17 • 5enses, FeatureNo Comments

By James Dungeon

Art doesn’t occur in a vacuum; there’s a context in which it’s made. The artist who makes it, herself, is a defining aspect of that context.
So, how do you get to know an artist? Well, the obvious approach is to ask her about her art. (That happened, and you can read the results here.) But there’s also her space and her relationship to that space. There are the little details, the way an artist organizes (or doesn’t) every little thing. An artist’s space is a reflection of herself and is, in a way, a work of art in and of itself.
But all of that’s pedantic. Wouldn’t you rather meet the artists and see their spaces for yourself?
Well, you’re in luck as it’s almost time for the Prescott Area Artists’ Studio Tour. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8, you can visit 60 juried artists at 40 private studios (plus an additional 38 artists at 4 art centers) and see them in their creative spaces. It’s a self-guided tour and spans the entire Quad Cities. Find out more and see a map of locations at PrescottStudioTour.Com. This event is sponsored by the Mountain Artists Guild & Gallery.

*****

Abby Brill, Abby’s Pots, 426 S. Alarcon, Prescott, ceramics

How would you describe your work?
I do almost exclusively functional work. I try to create pieces that people are going to want to use every day. It’s all mugs, bowls, and platters. I try to keep my pricing low enough that people on the Studio Tour or who see my work in a gallery can comfortably walk away with a couple of pieces.

What’s your space look like?
My studio is in my home. I’m only a couple of blocks from the public library, so I’m right downtown and you can access it from a stairway that goes down. The studio is under a very high deck, so there’s a great big space with three or four tables of stuff and a wheel. I’m always doing demos, sitting outside throwing pots.

Any memorable visits or visitors?
I have a flyer up with a little bio and a blurb where I emphasize that I want my work to be used, that I don’t want people to own my work and put it on the shelf and have to clean dust off of it all the time. So, I had this 12-year-old kid read it and he was really thoughtful, and he asked me, “What happens when they get dust on them?” That cracked me up. I also get all kinds of interesting special requests, including pet urns.

*****

Nancy Koski, These Treasures, 5 Woodside Drive, Prescott, ceramics

How would you describe your work?
I do functional stoneware. A lot of it is decorated with hand-painted designs of dogs, cats, or horses. It’s whimsical in style, not realistic. I also put scripture verses on my pottery. By functional, I mean bowls, plates, mugs, pitchers, casseroles, and those kind of things. I also do some piggy banks that are whimsical animals. I use a few commercial glazes, but I mix most of my own glazes.

What’s your space look like?
It’s the downstairs of my house. There’s a guest room, which is turned into a show room for a watercolor artist who shows during the Studio Tour; plus a work room; my studio, which is my Arizona room where there are two potter’s wheels. I do some handwork, and I have two kilns.

Any memorable visits or visitors?
I was sitting at the wheel and throwing and I happened to look up, and there was this youngster, a boy maybe 12 or 13, and he was there with his parents, and he was just staring, his mouth wide open. I thought in my head, that’s what all this is about, turning young people on to art and showing them how it’s done. That’s part of our purpose in doing the Studio Tour, and I think it’s why each of us is required to demonstrate our art during the tour.

*****

 

Patty Lindsey, Julie & Patty of Glass Goons, 4455 N. Juniper Drive, Chino Valley, glass

How would you describe your work?
It’s a little bit funky. It’s usefulness with a little bit of fun. Glass is very fluid and sometimes you don’t always know what’s going to happen.

What’s your space look like?
It’s about 1,8000 square feet. My side of the garage is basically a whole garage and half of another one. I have three tables and can teach six people with them and I have four kilns — two big ones and two small ones — and a vitragraph, which is a small 8” x 8” kiln that hangs from a cabinet or shelf, and you melt a pot of glass inside it and it flows through a hole at the base where you can grab it with tongs into stringers and twist it into bow ties, hearts, and every other shape you can think of.

Any memorable visits or visitors?
We have one couple who loved my glass and found out we had solar and went out with my husband for about three hours. They’re on the tour and the committee now. There’s one gentleman who comes back who’s … let’s just say he’s unique, and people know who he is. He just loves to play with jewelry and glass, and is a really nice guy. I also have a lady who comes back every single year for my ornaments. She always comes early, and goes straight for the discounted stuff, and then she gets a new ornament or two.

*****

Jody Skjei, Shkjei Designs, 1814 Oak Lawn Drive, Prescott, metal

How would you describe your work?
I originally started with a lot of found object work. I’ve been using more metal — I’m plasma cutting, welding, and a little bit of forging, pounding and bending it to my will — so I have several different bodies of work. I did a series of characters: birds. They were made out of what we left behind, so they lived in the future, and they all had a reason for being here and were about making a kinder, more gentle, compassionate, society. I was going to write a book with them at one point. Anyway, I do a lot of functional art like tables and chairs, plus commissions for things like linear sculptures, which are kind of like fences. Rockers and planters, too. I’m doing a lot more sculpture now, too. I’d like to move into more kinetic stuff.

What’s your space look like?
It changes. A lot of people, I’m finding, are coming back on the Studio Tour every year to see what else I’ve collected. I have backyard terraces that are just covered in things I’ve collected.

Any memorable visits or visitors?
I find I get a lot of other artists. Some of them are people who’ve heard about this giant collection of stuff I have. What’s fun for me about the Studio Tour is that there’s a lot of agricultural and automotive parts — guy stuff — and guys want to talk about it. It’s, “That’s a 1954 cam shaft, which they stopped making in … .” I learn all this stuff from others, which is great. It’s also fun to see my friends who don’t consider themselves artists finds things and say this looks like this or that, and they basically design a piece.

*****

Cindi Shafer, Astral Glass Studio, 697 6th St., Suite 106, Prescott, glass

*****

James Dungeon is a figment of his own imagination. And he likes cats. Contact him at JamesDungeoCats@Gmail.Com.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

↓ More ↓