In October, I wrote about the annual Texas Metal Arts Fest held in Gruene, Texas every September. I also wrote that I planned to attend the annual Gruene Clay Festival on 24 Oct, which I did. As expected, it got crowded fairly quickly, but we arrived just as it opened so we were able to enjoy the wares at a leisurely pace for the first hour or so. As usual, we brought home a few items, some of which are shown in the images section below. As always, the Clay Fest was well worth the time, and would have been even if we hadn't found something we liked.

Clay Art

     Although many of the pieces on display this year were typically utilitarian, like all true art, fired clay can abjure usefulness and exist entirely for its own sake. Likewise, it needs no explanation or clever caption to help people 'get it.' A finished piece is a tangible articulation of the artist's inner vision, and explanations only diminish its potential or dilute its potency, and constrain it. For me, a good piece is one that can stimulate and accommodate diverse interpretations, and the best pieces are those that are seen and experienced differently every time, depending on the frame of reference and mood of the viewer.

     As for preferences, I like useful smallish items that are visually and tactilely appealing, but my favorites are those that have no purpose except to be decoration. I especially like an item that can distract me from what I am doing or saying whenever a casual glance traps and leads my mind into tangents of thought--things that are not so much conversation pieces as conversation interrupters.

     At this year's Clay Fest, I saw many useful and decorative items. Some of the pieces I liked most are shown below. Click on an image to see a larger version, or click on an Artist's name to visit his or her website.

Alejandra Almuelle
Alejandra Almuelle


Carl Block Pottery
Carl Block

Chris Campbell Pottery
Chris Campbell


Eye Of The Dog Art Center
Ty Johnson


Kersey Ceramics
Diana Kersey

Linda Gossett Pottery
Linda Gossett

Lotus Bermudez


Luling Icehouse Pottery
Charley Pritchard

Milagro Del Rio
Hank Drennon

Shikha Pottery

Sleeping Dog Studio
Billy Ray Mangham


Starkeeper Pottery
Roger Allen

Mike & Teri Hubbeling


- Most photographs on this page were taken with the permission of the artists whose names are listed herein. Some of the photos are from previous years' Clay Fests, and were included because I could not get decent photos this year. All of the photos are copyrighted and all rights are reserved by me, but the artwork copyright belongs to the artist whose name is listed above each set of images. Contact info for each artist is given below.

- Alejandra Almuelle

- Carl Block

- Chris Campbell,C.html

- Diana Kersey
    (210) 573-7418

- Eye Of The Dog Art Center—Ty Johnson,T.html

- Linda Gossett
    2505 Martin Luther King, #11C
    San Angelo, TX 76903
    (214) 240-7229

- Lotus—Lotus Bermudez
    School of Fine Arts/Ceramics Studio
    University of Houston
    4800 Calhoun Road
    Houston, TX 77004

- Luling Icehouse Pottery—Charley Pritchard
    1115 East Davis St
    Luling, TX
    (830) 875-6282

- Milagro Del Rio—Hank Drennon
    253 El Monte
    San Antonio, TX
    (210) 930-4832

- Shikha
    8022 Whitworth Ln
    Round Rock, TX 78681
    (512) 828-0129

- Sleeping Dog Studio—Billy Ray Mangham
    405 Valley View West Rd
    San Marcos, TX 78666
    (512) 754-8171

- Starkeeper Pottery—Roger Allen
    2505 Martin Luther King
    San Angelo, TX 76903
    (915) 653-4936

- TerWare—Mike & Teri Hubbeling
    1331-1/2 Bonham Terrace
    Austin, TX 78704
    (512) 447-8852

     Minor changes were made to this essay on 22 Jun 10; Randy Brodnax's entry was removed on 24 Oct 10.
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