Ceramic arts patrons from Central Oregon are eagerly anticipating the 2016 Wildfire Ceramic Showcase. This art event is presented annually by artists from the Clay Guild of the Cascades. The exhibit and sale will be held on November 5 and 6 at Highland Elementary School on Newport Avenue in Bend. by JANET MATSON for AE

Here’s what the show’s loyal patrons have to say about the event they look forward to every year.

“As a collector of ceramics, the Wildfire Ceramics Showcase offers me the opportunity to purchase work directly from the artists, getting to know a little about the artist behind the art. I enjoy watching the demonstrations by the artists, allowing me to see the work that goes into each piece since I am not one to get my hands into the clay,” offers Pamela Burns of Bend.
“I use all of the different pieces that I have and use some of them daily. They are beautiful when I set them on my table. The more I learn about the pottery, the more I appreciate the handmade bowls as I eat my soup. I enjoy this show because of the variety and novelty of the pieces. I also enjoy seeing how the artists work progresses each year.”

Erik Rustand of Bend adds, “My wife Annie and I have always enjoyed attending the annual Wildfire pottery show. There are numerous booths displaying various artists’ work, a “hands-on” kids clay area, instructional classes and even raffle drawings! With three young girls (all seven and under), this event is fun for our entire family.”

Helen Poindexter with her favorite pottery

The talented local artist theme is prevalent throughout the show.
“I enjoying going to the Wildfire every year to see and buy from local artists,” Jeanne deBons of Bend. “Over the years I have come to know some of them and enjoy seeing their new work. It is fun to give presents to people that are made by Bend artists.”
The collectors are also intrigued by the pottery remark Jan and Robert Brockway ofBend,

“We’ve been collecting Eleanor Murphey’s work for some time now and we never fail to fall in love with another piece (or two!) when we see her at the Wildfire show (one of our favorite art shows). We love the originality and beauty of her work and it all works so well in our home. But we also love that her pieces are very usable: not just art on the wall, but a work of art to put on the dinner table (like our gorgeous water pitcher surrounded with leafy lemons or pinecone tray – very Bend – that we use for serving cheese and crackers).
Favorite artists are surrounded by fans, including Kim Leahy of Bend,

Raku pot by Peter Roussel
Raku pot by Peter Roussel

“My Bend Bella mug that Dori Kite made for me is a wonderful reminder to play as well as work. I love the way the mug feels in my hand as well as being very high quality.”
A customer of Peter Roussel comments, “I like the depth and richness of color your work has. The elegant use of form draws me into the surface. I enjoy having some of your work. They make me feel happy and peaceful,” says Mary Howlett of Palo Alto, California.

“I have purchased quite a few lovely articles from various artists at the Wildfire Ceramic Showcase,” reports Shari Hogshead of Bend. “My two favorites are by Janet Matson and feature her artistic flowers. They are both practical and decorative. I display them in my home and use them when the size is appropriate for the food I am serving. Everyone comments on them. I love using them and seeing them in my home.”
Helen Poindexter has been a patron of the Wildfire ceramic show for many years.” My collection is extensive and each year I like to purchase from new artists as well as my old favorites.”
Helen enjoys talking to the artists and watching the demonstrations. “It is fascinating to watch these people make marvelous things from a lump of clay and the kids clay table is always entertaining.” Asked if she uses the pottery her response was “yes, every day.”
As Designer William Morris said in the 19th century, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”‘
Wildfire Ceramics are both. Come and see for yourself. Every time I use a piece of pottery I think of the potter that made it. Wildfire Ceramic Showcase allows us to have that connection with art & artist.”


Shari Hoghead holds a favorite bowl
Shari Hoghead holds a favorite bowl

At Wildfire one can find a wide variety of ceramic art from functional cups, bowls, platters and casseroles, to fine sculpture, wall pieces, bird houses, jewelry and even whimsical monsters.
“I always look forward to Wildfire because it highlights the strength of the ceramics community in our region,” concludes Sandy Anderson of Bend. “The quality of work is outstanding, and the sense of camaraderie is felt from the welcome when entering the building to the ease of checkout. Showcasing excellent hand-crafted work, Wildfire keeps us in touch with our roots.”

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