Studio B Art Gallery in Boyertown presented a “Let’s Talk About Art” episode on Facebook LIVE April 23 featuring master potter, teacher, cook, and gardener Linda Rohrbach Austerberry.
To capture the gamut of Linda Rohrbach Austerberry’s talents and achievements, Studio B’s directors Susan Biebuyck and Jane Stahl spent an afternoon at her home and studio in Barto.
The event, recorded by Amy Muzopappa of Muzo Media Productions and sponsored by Tompkins VIST Bank, will be archived and available for viewing on Studio B Art Gallery’s Facebook page and YouTube and accompanies the studio’s exhibit “Birds” that runs through June 20.
The journey of this beloved artist is on full display in Linda’s home and gardens. Her kitchen, and her self-designed food serving and cooking pieces fired in a kiln on her premises reflect the influences of her studies and travels.
Specialty cookware pieces showcase her love affair with clay and throwing pots. Her orbs, bowls, and vases are available for purchase at her studio by special arrangement.
The visit meant collecting the stories of people and events that influenced Austerberry and the stories of those she has influenced and served over a 35-year teaching career and over 50 years of creating distinctive pottery and ceramic sculptures. Among her creative influences is husband Mark whose handiwork and vision bring home and architectural projects to fruition.
Commenting on her process, Austerberry revealed her mission: “I try to make each piece of stoneware possess an organic peace and balance, echoing the elemental forces found in nature, offering colors and textures of nature in work that evokes a sense of freedom along with the order and control necessary for its function."
“Like any long-term relationship, there’s an intimacy that develops over decades of working with this element of nature. As a loving partner, my creativity and the flow of ideas come from an understanding of clay’s varied aspects — listening carefully, if you will, to the sounds and silences that nature presents, learning what the clay will allow me to do in any particular instance,” she continued.
“I have had to devote time not only to listening, but also to finding places where I can listen. I have listened to the silence of centered clay as it rises into a form of dignity – never shouting. I have also listened to the seasons, each different in its impact upon my senses; to words, some meaning much and others very little; to fire, which can change the course of a life in many ways; to water flowing from a small spring to the ocean.
“In striving to harmonize the many aspects of clay, I have developed a genuine sensitivity to the freedom, strength, and simplicity of my forms and the forms of nature.
“And while I try to control as much as I can during the process, after carefully formulating my own clays and glazes like any ceramist, I have learned to accept that after throwing on the wheel and then creating a piece, a 2350-degree fire in a kiln will change the piece according to its own power.
“Fans and patrons will certainly be glad to hear that Linda’s artwork is available to add to their own collections or to give as gifts. I think everyone within 40 miles of Boyertown must own at least one piece of her work,” said Stahl.
View the YouTube presentation at www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQRIygZDJo8.
Studio B is the home of the Arts and Activities Alliance, a committee of Building a Better Boyertown, a nonprofit Main Street program dedicated to revitalizing small towns. Visitors are always welcome to view the changing exhibits; take lessons in the visual, literary, and communication arts offered by highly-trained local artists and teachers; and schedule small events or parties in its elegant facility. The studio proudly collaborates with the many unique businesses in the Boyertown community.