Gail is a studio potter working with stoneware, porcelain, and raku clays that require a multitude of decoration and firing approaches. Her pottery is unique and distinctive with special attention given to design, texture and form. Her work reveals a desire to reflect the beauty of creation. Representational sculpture is incorporated in many pieces that may develop into a thematic series. Gail’s present work is moving from the more functional dinnerware, fountains, sinks and vases to utilizing nature objects, such as seed pods, flowers, and shells for her inspiration in creating vases and wall hangings.
Sharon is from Lafayette, Indiana. She was born and raised in Lafayette, and moved away to learn glass blowing because there wasn’t any glass here. Chemistry glass blowing at Purdue University is the first hands-on experience she could get. From there, she had an apprenticeship at Florida for three years. She learned cross-fires, using a neon set-up and used lead crystal (which is kind of unusual for most people). From there, she was somewhat self-taught. When the opportunity arose, she started taking as many classes as possible from different masters. When she had the chance to travel, she went to Seattle; Corning, New York; North Carolina; and many other places to learn glass blowing because nothing was offered in the area.
Mary Firestone was born and raised in North Carolina, where at a young age, she discovered her medium while playing with the indigenous red clay in her own backyard. She set her art on the back burner, however, while she pursued a botany degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She now resides and works in Eden, a 4.5 acre garden she created in northeast Tippecanoe County. Mary is an Advanced Master Gardener, spending many volunteer hours “helping others grow.” Her love of plants and nature is evidenced in her choice of motifs and glaze colors in her pottery. Her work consists of mostly functional items for the home and garden created in high-fired stoneware and porcelain. She encourages collectors of her pieces to enhance their lives by using art on a daily basis.
Mary Ann Van Soest was born and raised in Jasper County on a farm. She grew up playing in the woods, thus her affinity for trees and nature. She is an artist that creates art with fabric, paints, thread and other embellishments. Both batik and hand dyed fabrics are used to create impressions of nature. Nature is the thread that binds it all together.
Since retiring in 2010 she has pursued her passion to be an artist, first by painting and pottery than with fiber. She says, “Through my art I draw the viewer in.”
She has had many shows in TAF. Her quilts have been shown at the AQS, shows in Paducah, Grand Rapids, Chattanooga and Syracuse. She has had work at the International Quilt Show in Chicago and Houston. She is a founding member of the Jasper County Art League and a member of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Association).
Mary Ann resides in DeMotte, Indiana on a wooded hilltop in the country with a pond to attract wildlife. Reading, studio time and bird watching keeps her busy.