more about Artist Stephanie O’Shaughnessy
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 the
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
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,
interested in contacting Stephanie may reach her at her shop:
a member of Twenty Dirty Hands. Her upcoming art shows
are listed there: twentydirtyhands.
at 130 N. Main St., Elizabeth, IL
(815) 858-3588 or
- via email.
is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization made up of more than
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