Kew Gardens Pottery Studio Holds First Exhibit at Local Pub

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on January 7, 2013 8:46am 

QUEENS — A Kew Gardens pub is hosting a display of ceramics crafted at a local pottery studio.

Ten artists from The Potter’s Wheel on 83rd Avenue are presenting 43 of their pieces at Austin's Ale House on Austin Street, which has traditionally shown paintings and photographs from the neighborhood scene.

"Our patrons love it," said John Kohout, one of the pub's managers. "It changes the room and our customers appreciate the art."

It's the first time the venue is hosting a pottery exhibit.

The show, which opened this week, is called "Off the Wall" because all the works are ceramic wall hangings, molded into shapes ranging from leaves to faces. The artworks are for sale, with many prices in the $150 to $300 range.

Audrey Cooper's pieces are decorative plates, which show abstract patterns along with humans and animals.

Cooper, 65, a former editor, said she discovered pottery 18 years ago and it has become her way of expressing her creativity.

“You are taking the earth and transforming it to something that could be functional or sculptural,” she said. “But to me, it’s magical, because you are dealing with the lump of clay.”

Grace Anker, who bought her 35-year-old studio about two years ago, likes that pottery can be both functional and beautiful.

"People have the opportunity to use [the pieces] in many ways — on their tables for entertaining or for every day use,” she said.

Creating ceramics can also become addictive, the potters said.

Flo Kaczorowski, 54, a legal assistant who started taking classes at the studio in 1980 and now teaches there, said pottery helps her deal with emotions.

A piece she is showing at the exhibit, a face-shaped work titled "The Road Traveled," was created when she was grieving after her parents passed away, she said.

The show is The Potter's Wheel's first group exhibit, and the artists hope it will be an extension of the bond formed at the studio, which is a place where they can exchange ideas.

“It gives me a feeling of belonging to a community,” said Margaret Wozniak, 47, who sells her work at craft shows in the tri-state area.

Wozniak, whose work is often based on Greek mythology and animals, has been with the studio for 11 years.

“We inspire each other," she said.

The Potter's Wheel is located at 120-33 83rd Ave. in Kew Gardens. The exhibit is on display at Austin's Ale House at 82-70 Austin St. for at least the next two months.

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