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Artists open studios this weekend in Jefferson

By Staff | May 1, 2009

Award Winning Heirloom Baskets and Sycamore Pottery will host their Annual Open Studio the weekend of May 2 and 3. The public is invited to visit the artists studios and workshops located in Middleway and Leetown. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Anne Bowers has worked as a basket maker and teacher of basketry from her home studio, Heirloom Baskets, in Middleway, for 27 years. Anne is known across the United States as one of the country’s finest instructors of basket making, and she travels extensively to share her expertise. Recently, two of her large antler baskets were chosen for the annual “Best of West Virginia” exhibit at Tamarack in Beckley.

Anne opens her studio for sales only twice a year. When you visit her workshop, you will find her artwork to be both functional and whimsical. Her work was featured in the February issue of Basket Bits magazine. The cover and a detailed article inside describe her unique approach to basket making.

If you miss her open studio, Anne will have her work shown at a one-woman show at the Summit Point Library in May and June, with an opening reception on May 9.

Directions to Heirloom Baskets: From intersection of Rt. 9 and 480, travel south through Leetown, continue on 480 approximately 7 miles. Go straight at the stop sign, crossing Route 51. Go one block, turn right on North Street and follow signs to Heirloom Baskets. Call (304) 725-0567 or email:dansgen@frontiernet.net

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Ren and Pam Parziale founded Sycamore Pottery in Jefferson County in 1972. They are full time studio potters.

“Our customers enjoy hand made objects. In a high-tech world, objects made the old fashioned way are valued by people who come to the pottery. Pots made on the potter’s wheel are a way to connect to the past, to our country’s history,” says Ren.

The Parziales make stoneware and salt glazed pottery. Their classical shaped bowls, pitchers, and platters are made on the potter’s wheel and high-temperature fired. They have been recognized for their work in the West Virginia Juried Exhibitions, as well as by museums and collections throughout the country.

They have been inspired by travel in Italy and Sicily and are using bright Majolica glazes on tile and red earthenware clay, a colorful addition to their regular line of high-fire stoneware. Cardinal reds, brilliant blues and lemon yellows are examples of a Mediterranean tradition of pot making and represent a festive connection to our American and European heritage.

Directions: From intersection of Route 9 and 480 (Kearneysville), go south on Rt. 1 towards Leetown 3.1 miles. Turn onto Payne’s Ford Road at historical marker “The Bower.” Go one mile to 5210 Paynes Ford Road. Turn up hill and follow signs to Sycamore Pottery. Or call (304) 725-4251; email: parz38@peoplepc.com or see www.eiderdowncottage.com/