Used with the permission of
Marci Hummel, Bryan Times Business Editor
Potter’s works available to public
Ann Vreeland loves to play in the mud. Or, more specifically, in clay.
Her pottery creations have long been available at area trunk shows and other venues, but with the opening of her Sisters Gallery they are more easily available to the public.
The gallery adjoins Sisters Studio, where Ann creates her pottery and gives lessons, and is located at 10940 Ohio 34 just west of Bryan.
“The studio is this part,” Ann said, indicating the large room filled with tables and pottery in various stages of completion. “The kilns are here, the wheels are here, I have my own glaze room with a spray booth and my air compressor. I make all my own glazes, so it’s basically like a chemistry lab in there, set up with glaze chemicals.”
She pointed out shelves filled with her students’ unfinished work, various supplies and work stations.
The gallery contains Ann’s finished works, and she explained the name of her studio and gallery reflects the sisterhood of women.
“Most of my stuff definitely has a feminine kind of a side to it,” she said, “and mostly women buy it.”
Her clientele includes men, of course, but Ann pointed out many of her sculptures are female and some “get a little lacey or ruffly - a little more delicate that wouldn’t be the first thing a guy would choose.”
Ann credits her mother, the late Gloria Batdorf, a well known Bryan hair dresser and salon owner, with instilling a sense of creativity and artistry in her daughter.
“I think there’s a lot of a similarity,” said Ann. “So with a lot of my figures - it’s all about their hair and I think that’s (from) my Mom.”
The gallery is new and was added to the west end of the studio. Ann said she has spent months adding finishing touches and building inventory to fill the shelves.“ So it’s been a little slow in getting it off the ground,” she explained. “But I’m just getting ready to have an opening (Nov. 24 from 10 a.m.-4 pm. and Nov. 25 from 1-4 p.m.).”
Ann said she hopes to have a few of her students working during the open house so customers can see how pottery is made and what goes into creating the pieces. However, the gallery will carry only Ann’s works.
She said the public’s interest in handmade pottery waxes and wanes over time and currently is enjoying an upswing in popularity. “I think people are tired of everything that’s just stamped out of a mold,” she said. However, Ann acknowledged the practicality of mass-produced mugs and dishes for everyday use. But for those who prefer products with a unique personality, nothing beats hand thrown pottery.
“I tell everybody that takes lessons from me, ‘If you want the perfect coffee cup, go to Walmart and buy it because they’re stamped out of a mold. They’re made exactly identical But if you like the touch of a hand on it, it will have a few flaws.”
The flaws, she explained, may not be caused by the potter but rather from the clay itself or the firing process. “Some little tiny thing. So it’s going to have some character. But Ialways tell them, too, that - I think it’s the Japanese - who on purpose put one flaw in just so ‘they’re not competing with God because God’s the only one who’s really perfect.”
Ann prefers to concentrate on creating sculptural rather than functional pottery, which she said can be purchased most anywhere. Some exam; ples of Ann’s works are deco- rative flasks of varying sizes, abstract busts and figures - all of which display the touch of their creator’s personality and often a hint of whimsy.
After its grand opening, Ann said Sisters Gallery will be open on Mondays when she’s in the studio, usually from 9:30 a.m. until the mid-evening.
For more information about Sisters Pottery Studio and Sisters Gallery, Visit the website sisterspotterystudio.com or call 419-6363 3990.
Copyright © 2012 - The Bryan Times