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Ann E. Vreeland
In Profile

Occupation: Owner of Sisters Pottery Studio outside of Bryan.
Family: Husband, Howard B. Vreeland Jr.; son, Keith and wife Mandy of Bryan; daughter, Vanessa Jacobs and husband Brett of Chicago; and grandchildren, Alexandra, Ruby and Daniel.
Something about her you may not know: “My goal is to listen to every audio book at the library.” Vreeland says she listens while she works in her studio, and for every really intellectual book she finishes, she listens to two fun books.

Bryan Times


Used with the permission of
Tami Brigle, Bryan Times Reporter

Pottery is her passion and now it’s her living

Ann at her kilns

Ann Vreeland stands next to one of her two kilns at her studio, Sisters Pottery Studio, outside of Bryan. She got her start in ceramics later in life, but she finds simple joy in working with the potter’s wheel.
(Staff photo by Tami Brigle)

By TAMI BRIGLE, Times Reporter

Published: Saturday,
November 7, 2009 4:48 AM EST

Vases, plates and teapots may seem like household needs to

most people. But Ann E. Vreeland sees them as opportunities for creativity and art.
Vreeland owns Sisters Pottery Studio just outside of Bryan, and her passion is creating porcelain and stoneware pieces of all shapes, styles and sizes. “Everything I do is one-of-a-kind. It’s very experimental,” she said. As an artist, she doesn’t have a particular style or niche.
“I like everything, and I find it hard to focus in on just one thing,” she said. She gathers inspiration from many places, including museums or one of her many ceramics books. Sometimes she will see a piece by another artist and try to create a duplicate just to learn how they made it. Then she may add her own finishing touches to make it her own.
“You can go for a walk in the woods and find some mushroom or a pinecone or a cool leaf” for inspiration as well, Vreeland said. Even with so much inspiration around her, Vreeland got her artistic start later in life than most.
A Bryan native, Vreeland went to Adrian College after high school to be with her now-husband, Howard B. Vreeland Jr. After her first year at Adrian, where she studied home economics, they were married. After her second year there, he graduated and they started traveling for his work. Later, they ended up back in Bryan and started a family.
Pottery is her passion and now it’s her living
It wasn’t until her late 30s, when her children were all in high school, that she decided to finish her degree. “I decided right then I was going to do it,” she said. Vreeland said she had always been crafty, but “I had seen an exhibit of Van Gogh that just knocked my socks off,” so she had become interested in the fine arts.
She took art classes at Defiance College and with the Parks and Recreation Department, but they just didn’t satisfy her desire to learn more.
She chose to major in art upon her return to Adrian, and that meant basically starting over with her classes.
Before she could get to courses on painting — her original art focus — she had to take a ceramics class. That’s where she fell in love with the potter’s wheel.
“I can throw pots for about 12 hours before it gets to me,” she said. After completing both her bachelor of arts and bachelor of fine arts degrees, a friend let her put a kiln in a warehouse on Mulberry Street so she could make all the pottery she wanted.
Someone once told Vreeland, however, she would either have to learn how to sell her art or buy a warehouse to store it. Since she ran out of space to keep her pieces, she started to sell them. Her father-in-law helped her build her studio outside of Bryan in 2000, and she’s been a professional artist ever since.
Though her studio also is her business, Vreeland finds tranquility in the space whenever she works. After finding a muse, Vreeland’s favorite part of pottery is the creation process. Taking raw clay on the wheel in her studio can be very freeing, she said.
“It’s a place of peace and tranquility,” she said. “You can calm down, slow down ... and just make a mess.”

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