Saturday, November 13, 2010, 1:00-4:00pm

Benjamin and Melanie Steffl Thompson

Using their different mediums, Benjamin, a wood-fire potter, and Melanie, an oil painter, create work with similar themes.

Benjamin, who is from the Pacific coast of Oregon, creates wood-fired pottery with a steady, focused patience resonating of his home. He was trained to search out and incorporate local materials into all aspects of the process of making his work. Wood-fired work involves a long, intense process and originated in Korea, Japan and China. The last 50 years has seen a new movement in the western areas to practice this very old art form with a new voice. Locally, there is an abundance of clay and wood. Since moving with his wife Melanie to the area, he has been intrigued by the faded presence of the old pottery industries along the Ohio River and in the hills.

Benjamin is currently finishing building his own wood-fire Anagama style kiln with bricks re-claimed from the old Scio Pottery. He intends to create work which reflects the wood and materials available here. More of his work can be seen at www.silverfoxpotteryandart.blogspot.com.

Melanie, whose home is the Ohio Valley, creates oil paintings that tell stories about the hills, creeks, hollows, fields and woods here above the Ohio River. She has a BFA in Fine Arts, but is certain experience has taught her more than classwork. Melanie also pursues the process in her art: she chooses to always work on site (plein aire painting). Inspired by those who work with the land, she attempts to mimic their ethics and dedication to physical labor by hiking with her paints and easel to each location to paint. Locally, Melanie has always been fascinated by the complexity of the landscape in our area and all the possibility it seems to contain.

Melanie was currently the Artist in Residence at Acadia National Park in Maine.

They spend half of the year here near the Ohio River and the other half next to the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon.

Jewelry by Janice Zalewski

Janice has been painting mandalas, or as Carl Jung called them, healing circles, for the past 25 years. She has exhibited her art in various galleries throughout the US. It has only been within the last year that Janice has integrated these circular dimensions of the unconscious into the artistic forms of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Beads are her passion…designing, playing, and praying with them her greatest joy. Janice feels fortunate and fulfilled when she sees a fashionably fun necklace around a sister’s neck, a funky bracelet on a friend’s wrist, fabulously fine earrings dangling from a stranger’s ears; knowing they were the creations of Jan’s Jems.

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