Village Arts is delighted to share our first featured artist Alice Hale. Alice has been a potter in the Columbia Valley for nearly 40 years and is one of the founding members of Village Arts.
The ‘featured artist’ project offers a unique glimpse into the studios and creative spaces of local Village Arts artisans. I had the opportunity to visit the property and photograph Alice in her beautiful and eclectic home studio. The space was designed and built by her and her husband years ago. Both spacious and cozy, it felt like a perfect place for a creative soul to share their gifts.
Walking into the studio was amazing… it was my first visit and as soon as I stepped through the door I felt enchanted by the shelves filled top to bottom with Alice’s work. Inspired deeply by nature, earthly tones infuse the entire collection… blues and greens offer a calm and serene feel and Alice’s love for this practice seems to hang in the air. As Alice walked around the finished pieces, she shared stories of her travels and how she would make pottery all over the world. She talked about how the places she visited found a voice in her work and how those life experiences live on in the clay. She pointed out the very first piece of pottery she had ever made. It was so inspiring to see that little pinch pot and to witness the fondness with which she held it in her hands, revisiting the memory of it’s creation.
Alice generously offered to throw a bowl on the wheel during our visit and it was moving to watch her work with the clay. The passion that she has for her creative work is still so strong. The sound of the motor turning on, the quiet way she moved around the room, reaching for tools and a plastic bucket of water. The sound of the stool scraping across the floor as she pulled herself in close and draped a towel across her lap, it was obvious that she had done it all a million times before. It felt like watching someone move in their natural rhythm. Like watching someone breathe. It felt like the sounds, the silence, the quiet way that the light was coming in the window were evidence of a heart wide open.
Alice’s company, Caraway Pottery has a strong following in the valley. People can feel the love and energy that she breathes into the work. She enjoys throwing on the wheel as well as working with Raku and explores functional pottery along with creative and interpretive shapes and vessels.
Having the opportunity to visit an artist’s space where they bring their creative work to life is an inspiring and wonderful experience. I couldn’t leave without purchasing one of her beautiful pieces and feeling my own creative spirit called to action.
We hope that you enjoy this small glimpse into the work of beloved local potter Alice Hale and Caraway Pottery. We would love to hear your feedback and please come down to the store to take a look at Alice’s work in person. We look forward to sharing more featured artists from our talented group of over 40 artisans!
All photos and content submitted by Kyla Gent (nee Brown) of Kyla Brown Photography. Kyla is one of our local Village Arts artists.