Marcia Ives: The Heat of the Kiln

Winter, 2018.19

The Winthrop Gallery cooperative welcomes Marcia Ives, a new ceramic artist.

Ives is an innovative potter—not totally experimental, although there is much experimentation in her process—and not quite a production potter either. She often creates a line of pottery if she likes what the kiln has revealed. Her productions vary from dark, almost encrusted bowls and platters alive with bicycles, wheat heads or abstract patterns, or light pottery drinking glasses and bowls with swirling blue glazes. She uses porcelain and Oregon red (terra cotta) with design inspirations from patterns she creates or finds in nature.

“The best part about being a potter,” Ives explains, “is opening the kiln.”  She experiences both excitement and anxiety in seeing what happened to her creations during the heat of the kiln cycle.

Ives began making pottery in earnest about nine years ago, after she took a class at the Kirkland Art Center. She had made pottery before, when she was in her twenties and thirties. She always knew she would go back to it. She took her first pottery class at Whitefish Mountain Community College in Montana.

She recently visited a friend who took that original class with her, and her friend showed her a butter dish that Ives made back then in that first class about 30 years ago. Ives saved her original potting tools through 27 moves. These original tools are now put to work in her newly built studio next to her home.

Ives’s work is mainly functional, but recently she has begun to explore art ceramics. She recently produced a series of small Buddha faces in various glazes.

Pottery is very grounding for Ives. It is literally a way to mold the earth—she can gather the earth in her hands and find her way to beautiful pottery pieces for the appreciation of others.

LOCATION: The Winthrop Gallery, 237 Riverside, Winthrop, WA. HOURS: fall/winter, daily 10am to 5pm, Thurs-Mon; closed on Tues and Wed. INFO/CONTACT: 509-996-3925,