Vernonia, a small community in the coastal range of Oregon, has a secret that is slowly going public. It’s a growing haven for the arts, where amazing old talent appears unexpectedly from small shops, barns and studios, and new talent is nurtured and appreciated across the board.
This beautiful youtube clip gives a small peek into what Vernonia children are doing with their free time. Enjoy!
Finding herself with an empty nest and time on her hands, Wanda Aszman started taking art classes at Mt. Hood Community College. There she fell in love with ceramics and now, many years later, she’s an accomplished artist creating one-of-a-kind works of clay that are both functional and stunningly beautiful.
Wanda’s small business, My Jars of Clay, operates out of her studio in Vernonia, with a portion of her time spent in Portland where she’s one of the founders and an 18-year member of the NW Potters Guild. Her experience includes 5 years of study under Don Sprague, a well-known Northwest potter with pieces displayed in the Smithsonian.
When asked what draws her to ceramics, Wanda states that it’s the hands-on creativity, the total immersion in an artistic project that she most enjoys. She loves puttering with clay and would like to do more hand-building—playing with alternate shapes and interesting designs that lead to one-of-a-kind creations. Lanterns are one of Wanda’s specialties because she gets to “cut and paste” with clay.
Wanda makes all her own glazes, which allows her to tinker and experiment with her own blends. Green glazes of all shades (an Oregon-inspired color) are her favorites and she tests new ones all the time.
Currently, Wanda provides finished pottery, custom pieces, and kiln services. She vends her pottery at several street fairs in Portland as well as during summer and holiday events. Someday, Wanda hopes to find space in Vernonia to offer classes for children and adults.
Interested in pottery? Wanda can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.