During the month of November, Gallery 26 celebrates the work of five local potters: Paul Aspell, David Crane, Signe Hanson, Ken Sadler, and Joan Titus. Work will range from functional to sculptural, hand-built and pieces thrown on the wheel. Also on exhibit will be Gallery 26 resident artists Jen Wagner, Sharon Stockley, Heidi Wetzel, Fred Petermann, Karen Maskell-Peck and Victor Aborca. Exhibiting on “The Walls” are Carla Huber, Patricia Novella-Hayes and Polly Cox. On Friday, November 5 from 5:00-8:30pm, an Opening Reception with wine and cheese will be held during Easton’s First Friday Gallery Walk. Live music will be provided throughout the evening by Buckets and Keys.
Paul Aspell works from his studio in Easton’s Brookletts Building, where he merges hand-built forms with thrown elements, combining traditional and sculptural techniques. Aspell’s style involves pulling and tearing the clay in ways that distort and reveal an altered surface. He says he enjoys the process as much as the finished product. “The forms of my pottery come from the need to show energy and movement,” he says. “The process of making art is evolutionary. The inspiration that I receive from creating one piece is infused into the next.”
David Crane grew up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, where he spent time on the water discovering the Chesapeake’s constantly changing marine landscape. After earning a degree in geography, and a stint in the merchant marine, Crane began a career in building, maintaining, and captaining yachts from the Canada to the Caribbean. Inspired by the natural beauty of the area, he began to explore the possibilities of using clay to recreate whale bones and other artifacts found on the beach. “The discovery of tile as an artistic medium awakened a strong desire to distill my observations and experiences in clay. The course of my art is guided, in part, by the notion that the planet is a living entity, and my work is a small offering to the spirit that holds sway over life’s adventure.”
Signe Hanson is a self-taught potter from Caroline County. All of her pottery is hand built in a unique, organic style. Each piece is created “from a mental image of a pregnant lady on tiptoe.” Hanson’s vases are recognizable by their round middles and narrow bases. She spent her childhood traveling Asia, and her work is influenced by that time. Every year she travels to study pottery in countries such as Korea, Morocco, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Ken Sadler sailed into Talbot County after a two-year cruise with his wife Sarah and their children. He had a careers as an insurance executive and as a management consultant. This second career was interrupted when he was “captured by clay” during a class at the Academy Art Museum. With no formal art schooling, Ken developed his ceramic processes by attending workshops and understudying others from North Carolina to Japan. He says clay provides him with a “fabulous opportunity to express myself and keep learning new things. I love it when a piece can, at the same time, be primitive and graceful, or familiar and mysterious. It tickles me that others are also enjoying my process and my pots.”
Joan Titus is a resident of Talbot County who creates whimsical clay wall hangings. While in her twenties, she painted in oils before taking ceramics classes at the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Potters Guild. “Once I touched clay,” she says, “I was hooked and have done ceramics ever since.” She also studied ceramics at the Chicago Art institute and Marin College. She worked in many studios in San Francisco, Kansas City, Lyons, Co., and finally arrived in Maryland where she does works and studies at Anne Arundel Community College.
During Easton’s famous Waterfowl Festival, Gallery 26 will host art demonstrations throughout the day on Nov. 13 and 14. Gallery 26 artist Heidi Wetzel will create fiber art in her studio, artist Catherine Alspach will work on her loom creating beautiful sweaters, scarves and more, and artist Annie Hynes will be create unique crocheted metal jewelry in her studio. And artist Carla Huber will paint in the main gallery at 1pm on Saturday. Keith and Lynn Voight will conduct gourmet olive oil tastings and the gallery will serve hot cider and cookies throughout the weekend.
The Canvasback Gallery, which shares space with Gallery 26, presents C. John Sullivan Jr., author and waterfowling historian Friday, Nov. 12 at 7pm for a discussion of early upper Chesapeake Bay Ducking Clubs. After the talk enjoy light fare and drinks to the music of local favorite Three Penny Opera to kick off the Waterfowl Festival in true Canvasback Gallery style.
Gallery 26 offers visitors a unique artistic experience. The main gallery exhibits the work of eight local artists, in mediums including fiber art, mosaics, basketry, metal sculpture, and jewelry. Working artists’ studios are open to the public. Meet the artists and inquire directly about their process and classes offered. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday by appointment or by chance. For more information, visit www.gallery26easton.com or phone 443.521.4084.