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Meet Hello Galena Artist: Stephanie O’Shaughnessy


Potter Stephanie O'Shaughnessy workingLearn more about Artist Stephanie O’Shaughnessy in her own words:

With clay, there are endless possibilities and endless mysteries to unravel! It is joy and surprise -- risk, disappointment, and struggle. It beckons, us to grow, to explore, to play. . . and offers meditative moments as we spin soft clay between our hands. Beyond any personal experience in the studio, there is great satisfaction in making an object to be used and enjoyed in the world -- a favorite mug, a generous bowl (symbol of giving and receiving), or some exuberant or quiet abstract vessel or sculpture for home or garden.

I grew up on the east coast in Marblehead Massachusetts, a block from the ocean. I knew nothing of pots or potters until I moved to Galena, in the late '60s. Potteries had flourished in Pieces created by potter Stephanie O'Shaughnessythe Upper Mississippi Valley in the 1850s, and samples of the old Galena Pottery endure, as well as rich banks of clay, and myths of the old potteries. All of these fueled my curiosity. I began to learn to make pots on my own, dug local clay, made a wheel and built a kiln. From the beginning, it was the generosity of other potters, and a wonderful nun at Clarke College (who gave me encouragement and my first text book) that set me out on this lifelong adventure.

As my passion for pots evolved, I was fortunate enough to attend Anderson Ranch as a scholarship student; was an artist in residence for one year through the Illinois Arts Council's CETA Training Program; assisted David Leach at a workshop at Haystack in Maine; and in recent years, assisted Paul Soldner at workshops in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, and California.

Work by Stephanie O'ShaughnessyFor 10-plus years, I was a gallery manager, and represented many outstanding Midwest potters. I have done commissions for organizations, restaurants, wineries, small businesses, churches, and individuals. Along the way, I have occasionally taught private and group classes. Currently, I throw pots at Studiowork in Elizabeth, Illinois.

Customers interested in contacting Stephanie may reach her at her shop:

  • Studiowork at 130 N. Main St., Elizabeth, IL
  • phone: (815) 858-3588 or
  • via email.
Steph's also a member of Twenty Dirty Hands. Her upcoming art shows are listed there: twentydirtyhands.

Hello Galena! is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization made up of more than 65 local artists. Their artwork and signature gift items are displayed at 121 N. Commerce Street, Galena, Ill. Artists staff the art-only shop. Check out our handy online map, store hours and directions. For more information about Hello Galena, call (815) 777-1448 during shop hours.




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Grant Barlow

Carol Bell
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Zelma Clark
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Illinois State Historic Sites
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Mary Laugesen
Mary Ann Leigh
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Diann Marsh
Helen Mayberry
Shirlee Methling
Sandy Michalik
Lois Mihok
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Stephanie O'Shaughnessy
Richard Pearce
Kimberley Poe-Jensen
Sandra Principe
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Hendrica Regez
Trudy Saltenberger
Lorlee Servin
Becky Sisco
Karen D. Stockwell
Valerie Stuermer-Walker
Beverly VanDerZyl
Russell Vestuto
Scott Waterhouse
Catherine Watson
Colleen Yonda
Allan Zver



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