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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

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Arna Means, Etchings
& Miriam Owen, Pottery

November 18, 2010 - January 31, 2011

Other Venues: Sea Ranch Lodge Front Gallery

Etchings by Arna Means and flame painted pottery by Miriam Owen will be shown in the Front Gallery of the Sea Ranch Lodge through January 31, 2011.

Arna Means, Etchings

Phases of the Moon, by Arna Means Local artist Arna Means is excited about her etchings exhibit at Sea Ranch Lodge Front Gallery from November 18 through January 31, 2011. She is excited to show off some of her new work as well as new renderings of old favorites.

The etchings span a time period of 35 years. Although Arna had been involved in art and art education all her life, it was not until after college when she was living with her family on the Monterey Peninsula that she learned the art of the intaglio print.

During the sixties her husband, Robert Means, and she had an art gallery and studios on Cannery Row where the aquarium stands today. One of the many artists who was involved with the gallery taught an etching class at the Carmel Art Center using an old modified printing press to pull the etchings.

Bitch, Moan and Cry, by Arna Means Arna found the discipline an exciting new means to express the line drawings she loved doing, and pursued studies further at San Francisco Graphics Art Studio, California College of Arts and Crafts, and more recently, at Crown Point Press in San Francisco. Over the years she has pulled hundreds of prints from her small press and shown them in galleries up and down the west coast. She has won several awards.

Arna has lived in Gualala for 23 years. She teaches art on the Kashia Pomo Reservation School and works in many media in her home studio. Her home studio number is 707 884-1608 and her website is

Miriam Owen, Flame-Painted Pottery

Miriam Owen, Flame-Painted Pottery I trained to be a potter in the early '70s at UC Santa Cruz. At that time, there was a very comprehensive program taught by Al Johnsen, a protégé of internationally renowned ceramic artist, Marguerite Wildenhain, who had a studio at Armstrong Woods, near the Russian River, until her death in 1985.

Margaret Wildenhain was part of the Bauhaus group which meant that the training was traditional and rigorous. When we made pots in class, every one was a practice pot, meant to be cut in half and studied for how perfectly the clay was formed. Two years after participating in that program, I opened my own pottery studio, Pescadero Creek Pottery.

I produced functional high fired stoneware and porcelain, which I fired in a 30 cubic foot gas kiln. After 25 years immersed in producing functional ceramics, I became interested in primitive pottery, especially American Indian pottery from the Southwest. I studied with Dolly Naranjo, a Santa Clara Pueblo potter who comes from a multi-generational family of potters.

I learned to find and process clay from the earth. This is a labor intensive effort especially because clay is found in gullies and washes down-slope and has to be hauled in a bucket up to the home or studio on the Santa Clara Mesa.

I spent three weeks with Dolly making clay and making pottery by the coil method, an entirely challenging effort for me who threw pots on a wheel, which yields a pot in seconds. The pottery I made with Dolly took many days to finish coil by coil, followed by days of burnishing with a stone to bring up a smooth shine.

I created a synthesis for myself, combining my formal training with what I learned about primitive pottery making.

Miriam Owen, Flame-Painted Pottery Miriam Owen, Flame-Painted Pottery

The pottery in this exhibit is wheel thrown and burnished with a smooth stone. The pieces are fired once in an electric kiln to make them durable for the pit fire.

The pit firing is done in a half oil barrel. I put 8 to 10 inches of sawdust for a soft layer to set the pots in. I then add rock salt mixed with copper carbonate and dried kelp around the pots and build a fire over the pottery. The flames lick the pots and leave a permanent smoke stain. The red is from the copper-salt mixture combusting and flaming around the pot. Kelp often results in yellow/gold effects. I call this flame painted pottery and the colors are permanent.

The embellishments are stones, shells, Chinese pheasant feathers, salt cedar sticks and beads.

The Sea Ranch Lodge is located at
60 Sea Walk Drive, Sea Ranch, California 95497
Please call (707) 785-2371 for more information.