Barbara began her creative adventures as a 2-D fine artist and printmaker, moving on to achieve a BFA degree in Graphic Design from the University of Washington. She discovered ceramics (or they discovered her) at a Ballard Community Center pottery class she took on a whim in 2000. That’s all it took to be bitten by the pottery bug. image of Barb
Humble beginnings were also a bit daring. Her first “studio”, although merely a frame and tarp structure outdoors, featured a full size high-fire updraft propane kiln in the small back yard of her then Queen Anne (Seattle) duplex. She quickly outgrew hauling 20 gal propane tanks, so in went a massive 100 gallon propane tank to run it, dubbed “The Lozenge”.
In 2003 she moved Eastward into her Montlake home with 100 Gallon tank tucked under her arm, ready to graduate to a more permanent facility. Within her first 2 years she became well known for her playful and near-animated lidded vessels and thoughtfully crafted functional pottery. Around year three she felt ready to start sharing her skills and experiment with mixing her studio work and teaching. Beginning with more private sessions, she grew into the format and rhythm, and her students loved it. Today she still teaches in small, intimate groups out of a conviction to maintain that same level of one-on-one availability and engagement, and to leave room for the joy of craft and process to come through easily.
Barbara’s mixture of pragmatism and vibrant quirk illuminates the essential beauty of the medium, and makes it accessible to students, patrons and collectors. Her art and design background and playful persona inform her fascination with vibrant shape, color and texture.
Today Barbara is a well known, beloved, and active presence in the Seattle arts community. She continues to conduct her uniquely successful pottery classes while producing both beautiful functional-ware and captivating ceramic sculpture. More of her work can be seen via her sculpture website: BarbaraDunshee.com