Studio Discovery Tour

North Coast

Miriam Owen – Ceramics and Driftwood Sculpture

Stacks Image 203
Stacks Image 204
Stacks Image 205
Stacks Image 64
Stacks Image 68
My artistic life began after attending the University of California at Santa Cruz. In the early 70’s there was a comprehensive ceramics program at the university. I established my first pottery studio, Pescadero Creek Pottery, in 1974, after studying there with Al Johnsen.
After 25 working as a studio potter, making high fire functional stoneware and porcelain vessels, I wanted to learn American Indian pottery making techniques.
In Santa Fe, I studied with a Santa Clara Pueblo potter, Dolly Naranjo. From her I learned Native American pottery skills from finding the natural clay to hand coiling and burnishing each vessel and using primitive firing techniques of open pit firing with wood and dung.
Back in my own clay world, I fused my wheel throwing skills to make pots and developed my own primitive firing technique, to create what I call ‘flame painted’ pots.
This year in my studio I will be selling pit fired pottery as well as functional pots such as mugs and bowls and flower vases.
I will also be selling my driftwood sculptures.
My driftwood work began with a conscious shift to making art from found materials, using what I find locally. I began by beach combing on local beaches to find natural materials: driftwood, kelp, shells, stones.
Recent pieces are still figurative but I have developed a fondness for embellishing with things I find walking the streets of San Francisco, my first home, and now my part time home. Rusty metal objects, bent nails, CO2 cartridges, beach plastics from Aquatic Park, all find a place on these quirkier figures.
The dog figure pictured, is called ‘Bad Dog’. It is driftwood, with a tail of plastic rope. There are bent nails and bullets on his back; rusty metal and copper wire on its head.
‘January’, is driftwood embellished with, a spent halogen bulb, a CO2 cartridge, a phone jack as well as my more traditional feathers and beads. I have a lot of fun creating these quirkier pieces.
When you visit my studio on the Gualala Ridge you will also be able to view my flower garden, a passion that explodes on my blog,

Contact Information:

Miriam Owen
PO Box 601
Gualala, CA 95445

Phone: 707-884-3388

Stacks Image 195
Stacks Image 66