As a toddler Barbara followed her father into the garden to make mud pies in the rich red clay soil he was preparing for his vegetables. Barbara fell in love with this amazingly pliable substance and could not realize then how much clay forming would become such an important component in her life. Almost six decades later, she is still playing in the mud.
The high school Barbara attended, in Bucks County, PA, offered both fine art and craft classes which provided her with three fortunate years of fine arts and ceramics. Beginning in 1969, for two years, Barbara attended Alfred University, a well known ceramic art college in New York State. The 70’s and early 80’s found her in Santa Fe, NM where she was strongly influenced by pueblo potters’ hand building, decorating and firing techniques. Barbara 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, Barbara organized her first studio and taught several classes. In the 90’s, most summers found her 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.
Barbara also lived in Scotland on two separate occasions. She joined the Scottish Potters Association, attended several workshops there, and taught ceramics at a community center outside of Aberdeen. It was there that she started making Celtic stamps from moist clay and, once fired, used them to make impressions in the objects she was working on. From that beginning Barbara has made clay stamps, purchased rubber stamps, and used found objects to impress the clay that she forms into the vases, jars, pins and other objects you see in the gallery. She finds that folding and bending the clay makes intriguing distortions from the stamped impressions. Glazing becomes magical when the stampings affect the flow of the glaze over the raised and depressed surfaces. No two objects can ever be exactly the same, which Barbara values and enjoys.
Most days you can find her working in her studio or garden; her hands happily in the clay and the dirt. Barbara firmly believes, mud pies still rule!