Linda Sawtelle

  • Ceramics
  • Sculpture

All my life I have loved arts and crafts, starting at an early age doing craft classes, sewing, candle making, leather tooling and drawing and painting. My mom, Mary, made sure we all (5 kids) were exposed to art and enrolled us in craft classes in the summer and after school. I grew up in the Air Force so we moved 7 times before I was 11 and finally settled in Rhode Island, although I have never really ‘settled’.

When I was 20 I came to California and lived in Noe Valley in San Francisco. I was walking down Church Street one day and passed a ceramics studio at 26th Street where the owner, Jerry was standing outside. We got to talking and I told him I would love to take a class but since I was unemployed I could not afford it, but maybe I could trade something. So he had me sweep the studio and mix glazes for him and that got me started – and off I went. I have never stopped working in clay.

In 1984 I ended up going back to college at San Francisco State to finish my undergraduate degree in art, studying sculpture with my hero Stephen DeStaebler and ceramics with David Kuroka.

While I live on the mountain, I work in a space called The Pottery, a small cooperative at 3 Lovell Street in San Rafael. While I love to throw pots my real passion is hand-building sculptures. My work comes just out of me, from deep within. When I am in the studio I feel I am really myself, answering to no one, just being and enjoying the moment. Even to this day it is hard to believe I get to do something just because I love it. I feel complete contentedness when I am building sculptures in clay.

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