“Much of life is about asking questions and searching for meaning. Yet in the end, it is the search itself that is meaningful. Thus, the more insightful the questions being asked, the richer one’s life becomes. In a significant way, this journey for many people begins with a lump of clay.” Chris Staley, author “The Challenge of Making Pots At A University” Ceramics Monthly, Feb. 1996
If you are a serious ceramic artist you know The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana is a world class leading ceramic arts institution dedicated to creative growth and inspiring all that love the ceramic arts. For those who have experienced The Bray as Resident Artists, you know that it is a life changing.
The Archie Bray Foundation is located on the grounds of what was once the Western Clay Manufacturing Company, a brick manufacturer, founded in 1905.
The brick yard has not produced since 1961, but the historic building serves as a soulful and reverent reminder of the history and passion of Archie Bray.
In 1951 Archie Bray, a member of one of the families that owned the brick company, started The Pottery, which was the first step in fulfilling his dream to create a place that anyone seriously interested in ceramics could come and learn, share and be inspired.
Since 1952, the Bray has drawn more than 600 ceramic artists from around the world to work, share their skill and inspiration.
Do you know the names and works of Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, Rudy Autio, Peter Voulkos, or Ruth Duckworth? Akio Takamori, Richard Notkin, Chris Staley, Robert Sperry? I see blank looks on some faces! OMG, I have a lot of work to do. These are incredible ceramic artists who have influenced and continue to shape ceramics arts today. Perfect idea for another blog posting.
The Shaner Studio Building and Summer Studios are open to the public. The Bray is where you are going to find the ceramic artists and influencers of today AND tomorrow.
The Bray has an annual fundraiser that is an absolute blast. The Bray Bash weekend is always the last weekend in July.
I’ll keep you posted on when you can register. The fishing is great on the Missouri River that time of year, so you’ll need at the very least, a long long weekend!
The Bray Sales Gallery has a presence online as well. https://gallery.archiebray.org/catalog/
A special thanks to Rachel Hicks, Director of Communications, for the images, Steven Young Lee, Resident Artist Director, for his wonderfully kind demeanor and support of what I am doing with Lets Get Original, and Mel Griffin for her time spent with me in her studio. I am looking forward to featuring many Bray resident artists and alums on Lets Get Original!
When I visited the Bray campus mid-August, I fumbled with my phone and missed getting a photo of a family of deer that was feeding near the Potter’s Shrine. Rachel Hicks was kind enough to send me a great shot of the deer family that the artists see almost daily on campus.
Gotta love Montana!
Next blog postings will be from Paris! I’m going to Maison Objet with several designer friends. I’ll report back with some cool finds.
After a couple Paris postings, I will feature David Ryan. You won’t want to miss it Feature Posting! Here’s a sneak peak.