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It all started with a party at Mountain Pottery in 2017. Helen, a science and STEAM teacher, had so much fun creating out of clay she became a monthly Mountain Pottery studio member. Through self-exploration and classes and lessons, she improved her skills with clay and began teaching some of the classes herself. When the previous owner moved and the studio was going to close, Helen bought the business. Together with her new business partner, potter Jason Bogan Helen is realizing the dream of making Mountain Pottery bigger and better through expanded offerings and opportunities.
Mountain Pottery is a ceramics studio and gallery in beautiful Idyllwild, California. We offer an array of classes, workshops and special events for artists of all skill levels in a relaxed, creative environment. The Mountain Pottery studio is also available for private events, other art classes and homeschool classes. We offer services for potters on the Hill such as pick up of ceramics supplies from Laguna Clay and Aardvarks.
Arthur Tobias is a native of Illinois. He graduated from SIU-Carbondale with a bachelors in drawing and ceramics in 1971. Art immediately set about building a clay studio outside his hometown of Paris, constructing his own kiln and potter's wheel. For the next 15 years Art made and sold decorative and functional pottery. At the same time he began studying human and animal anatomy and added sculptural forms to his repertoire. In 1986 Art moved to Los Angeles and added glass and metals to his skill set.
Art was initially influenced by traditional American crockery practices and forms, the F.L. Wright-inspired furniture, the architecture of his grandfather and the sweeping forms of interstate highway systems designed by his father. Other early influences were the English potters Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew, and the Bauhaus trained Marguerite Wildenhain.
From Wright and the others Art absorbed the mantras of "truth to materials" and "form follows function." These basic ideas have continued to inform Art's approach to the ceramic arts. An example is Art's favorite pottery form, the coffee mug. The initial inspiration was the sturdy mug found in every roadside diner and urban coffee shop in America. The form is straightforward, unadorned and pleasingly functional...a comfort to the hand. Sparked by that essential coffee mug Art has made tens of thousands of them, with variations, but always featuring the pulled handle which Art believes is the most comfortable grip a coffee drinker can experience, a true wedding of form and function.
Art continues to study and refine his forms, lately exploring surface treatments with greater intensity, taking cues from American decorative and folk pottery, classical Roman forms and medieval French and German vessels.
The lovely thing about being a ceramist is that the history of humanity is one long involvement with clay and its possibilities. The landscape is limitless.
Artist on Art:
Join Dr. Tobias every 2nd Monday of the month at Mountain Pottery for a video and discussion of influential potters in history. See special events or the calendar for more information.
Pottery Wheel demonstrations every Friday at 10am. Free & open to the public.
Do you have a question about Mountain Pottery's classes, workshops or special events? Do you want to rent space for your own art class? Are you interested in available or custom homeschool classes? Send us a message, and we'll get back to you soon!
54716 N. Circle Dr. Idyllwild, CA 92549
Orphan pot policy: We contact customers to glaze or pick up their clay projects when they come out of the kiln. Projects that are left in our studio for 3 months without making special arrangements with us will be considered "orphaned pots" and will be sold to fund our Mountain Pottery ceramics scholarships. In addition, members may contribute surplus pots which we glaze and sell as orphan pots.
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