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A Visit To Terra Vista Studios

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A trip to Cleveland would feel incomplete without a visit to Terra Vista Studios.

There were many a days I collected clay dust on my feet, just sitting around chatting with my best friend Andrea LeBlond, as she was rolling clay slabs, brushing on glaze, or just sitting contemplating the pieces she was working on.

Matter of fact, I love Terra Vista Studios so much that the last time I was in Cleveland I  hosted a one day workshop called CREATIVE DIG there with Andrea and Christine Reed.

Was tons of fun.

Terra Vista Studios resides in an old warehouse space–filled with large windows, high ceilings, brick walls, wooden columns, and great gritty views of the city and lake erie.

In the front there is a gallery space where the studio mates displays their work.  Above are the powerful sculptures by Artist Megan Dull.  When I was there she was busy working away on a piece that looked like a voluptuous Goddess–quite similar to her pieces in the photo below.

What intrigues me most about Megan’s work is that she creates these very Goddess–pagan looking sculptures, and she herself is a Notre Dame Nun.

I love that and I wish I had more time to have spoken to her about it.

But I was there to joyfully help Andrea pack up her pedestals and amazing inventory of ceramic pieces into a truck parked out back–for the next day she would be rocking it out at the Lakewood Art Festival!

Above are a few examples of Andrea’s work.  What you don’t get from the photos is the size of the circular pieces.  They are really, really large–and just so gorgeous to see in person.

To me they feel like mandalas, and maybe that’s why I love them so much.

But Andrea’s work is full of intricate texture and really inspiring shapes.

When I went to visit her at the Lakewood Art Festival that weekend, it was obvious to see how her work really stands out from much of the other typical ceramic work you find at festivals.

At first I thought it was the very sculptural feel to Andrea’s work that makes it stand out.  But after a long and delicious conversation over lunch, that yes-I had to take a photo of because it tasted more like an experience than just a meal–Andrea shared with me her vision behind the ceramic pieces she creates.

She described how focused she is on the details, because the details are what make-up the whole, she said.

From the cells of our bodies to the individual ingredients of a sandwich.

But she didn’t just stop there–she so eloquently shared with me how this vision applies to everything in her life.  From the food she makes, to her relationships, to how she runs her business, and even decorates her home.

To me this really is a testament on how powerful having a vision for our creative practice can truly impact not only the aesthetics of a piece–but the overall feel and I believe how it will be perceived and welcomed in other people’s lives as well.

(Thank you Andrea for that beautiful reminder.)

I was also enthralled by the work of another one of Andrea’s studio mates: Robert Romeo.  Above you can see I stole a little photo of his creative process, which alone makes a gorgeous statement.

But what stirred my heart the most is that Rob both paints and creates ceramics.

{At one time I did too.}

And that’s the thing.

This trip to Terra Vista made me long to put my hands in clay again.

I got all giddy just by that first peek into a kiln–even though it wasn’t mine.

There is a part of myself that’s been laying dormant.

And being there felt like an alarm clock just went off.

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