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Lynn Smiser Bowers
Neighborhood Potter (My Life Before Moving to Dallas)
© all images copyright Lynn Smiser Bowers
After graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1976 I decided to put down roots and build a pottery studio in my backyard.
My home was located in a historic urban neighborhood called Roanoke. Thomas Hart Benton lived down the street! It was not unusual to walk into a neighbor's home and see Benton original’s hanging over the fireplace.
Glazing days were a controlled mess with 20 different buckets of glazes stirred up and ready to go. Like a mad scientist I made my own glazes and tested new colors in every kiln.
As ceramics students we built and fired the kilns we used in school. That skill was put to use when I established my studio. My neighbors were curious to see me running around the roof laying up brick for the kiln’s chimney.
From the age of 12 I dreamt of a life in the arts.
I took my first pottery class in college and directed that ambition towards clay.
The Nelson Museum was in the Kansas City Art Institute’s backyard. As students we’d walk over for a quick lunch and peek at their exquisite collection of Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Persian pottery. Those visits had a profound effect on the direction my pots took.
Before the glaze firing.
After the glaze firing.
I used an electric kick wheel that came with an orange tractor seat that needed padding.
My garden wall was constructed of salvaged antique terra cotta tiles.
I have an ongoing romance with Japanese Maples, insects, and animals.
Over the years I have made many custom sets of dishes for clients and brides to be.
Custom tiles for a client's kitchen.
Custom tiles installed
Large planter for a client styled around a photo shoot for a magazine article.
Canister set for a client with poetry decorating the rim of the lid. A collaboration between client and potter!
Giraffe Necked Vase.
I use porcelain clay. The pure white color of porcelain provides a clarity for glaze colors and decorative elements.
Salt and Pepper Shakers
I like to research fabrics and textiles from other cultures. This is an Asafo Flag from West Africa, created by the Fanta Community in Ghana.
18th century Japanese Ikat material constructed into a kimono.
I like weaving patterning and bits of design to separate glaze colors.
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