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Ceramics show includes Coastsider creations

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Company China Ceramics Enterprises Network
Categories Metalized Ceramic
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    Ceramics show includes Coastsider creations

    f you walk into the Coastal Arts League Museum between now and Sept. 8 and your eyes glaze over, that's appropriate.
    That's because CAL is currently presenting a show of works by 27 Bay Area ceramic artists who are members of the Silicon Valley-based Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild.
    On stands, on tables and on the walls, this specially juried show includes an array of functional and decorative pieces from vases or platters to much more, in a rainbow of colors and displaying fascinating explorations of textures.

    There is a tall ceramic sculpture of a boy. There is an arrangement of colorful, hanging shapes dangling like a ceramic curtain. There is humor and whimsy, like the ceramic "sheep family." There are pieces which seem to capture motion in contrasts of textures and colors, and many pieces which simply seem to be freeze-frames of the ceramicist's art.
    The Orchard Valley group has included Coastside ceramicists, like Randall Reid and Becky Maddalena. But in the room directly preceding the museum, which is filled with the varied work of other CAL members, viewers will see examples of work by Moss Beach resident Pat Dailey, another Orchard Valley ceramicist.
    A four-year member of Orchard Valley, which has been in existence for six years, Dailey describes the group as an "up-and-coming" enclave of ceramic artists which, in contrast to more exclusive groups, is encouraging of potters of all levels.
    "They'll take anyone interested in pottery," she enthused.
    But having been a student of pottery for 18 years and calling herself semi-professional for about 10 years, Dailey is hardly a dilettante.
    On display in the outer room is a large platter in blues and deep purples, decorated with carved patterns. Elsewhere is a large bowl in rich copper tones, that seems slightly metallic, with figures that look almost mythological. Nearby on a shelf is a small bowl that looks like it is made of shining copper.
    The metallic look to the ceramic is a deliberate technique that Dailey says she specializes in. With the little bowl, it involved using actual copper in the glaze.
    She also experimented with different firing techniques. She fired the larger bowl at a relatively low temperature, in her oven in her kitchen at home.
    Her style of giving ceramics a metallic look, she said, is patterned after that of late, noted ceramicist Beatrice Woods of Southern California, who started working with pottery in her 40s and enjoyed a 60-year involvement with it until her death at age 105.
    For Dailey, ceramics is an artistic balance to the intensely mental work in her everyday life as a psychiatrist. She maintains a practice in Palo Alto and a small practice on the Coastside.
    "I always wanted to do something artistic," she said. "I took a class with Randall (Reid) and got hooked."
    Working with pottery combines both sophisticated artistic technique and basic, down-to-earthiness - literally.
    "It is fascinating because I am creating something out of a very primitive substance, earth, and making it into something useful, beautiful, jazzy," she said.
    Though her work is not formally included in the Orchard Valley exhibit, she says she's glad to be showing ceramic work in tandem with the CAL exhibit.
    Both nonprofit groups, CAL and the Orchard Valley guild, share a common denominator of fostering the Bay Area's creative arts community. The guild follows a mission of engaging those passionate about ceramic arts, and publishes an award-winning newsletter, "Greenware," to which Dailey is a contributing writer.
    The CAL museum is located at 300 Main St. in Half Moon Bay. It can be reached at 726-6335.

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