Table Mates

by Sonoma Magazine Staff

Thoughtfully arranged atop the hand-woven table runner are curved wooden salad servers, a soft cotton towel and a hand-glazed tea cup. This setting is the work of three local artisans, women who work individually yet join together to showcase their wares.

When they met about three years ago at a crafts fair and farmers market, Amy Halko, a ceramic artist; Holly Jordan, a woodworker; and Marilyn Webster, a weaver, quickly understood they had similar sensibilities, an artistic alchemy. All loved cooking and all expressed their passion in handcrafted items for the kitchen and dining room, treasures that were lovely on their own but that took on a deeper allure and beauty together.

Soon, “Clay Wood Cloth, for Gracious Cooking and Dining” was born. It is a simple collaboration that hosts a few sales each year, sometimes with just the three of them and sometimes at larger events. On Dec. 7, they will hold a holiday sale at Stark Wine Company in Healdsburg.

Upon request, Halko, Jordan and Webster also arrange special group sales and donate a portion of their proceeds to a local nonprofit. Typically, the host chooses the beneficiary; local animal shelters and educational organizations have been recipients in the past. When it’s their choice, the women like to support Ceres Community Project in Sebastopol. Ten percent of the proceeds of the December sale will benefit Ceres, which teaches teens how to grow and prepare healthy meals, and also feed those in need.

Ceramics artist Amy Halko working in her home studio near Lake Sonoma. (photo by Erik Castro)

“I love cooking,” says Amy Halko, who lives off Skaggs Springs Road northwest of Healdsburg, of her ceramics, with shapes inspired by function – a spouted bowl that pours perfectly, for example.

Her handmade pieces are elegant, graceful and sensual, with supple curves and voluptuous lines that in turn inspire the designs that adorn them. Halko is also influenced by Japanese block prints.

Glazes are delicate and minimalist, with fine tight lines and loose, dripping splashes of color against a pearly white background. Small unglazed spots offer a compelling tactile quality and the undersides of lids and bottoms that are glazed and decorated to contribute surprise.

Halko’s delicate line work, sometime punctuated by small dots of white gold, is particularly effective in the way it contrasts with and thus accents the curves. Colors are muted and smoky. Small round holes add an ethereal lightness to some pieces.

She makes individual pieces, everything from salt and pepper sets, tiny creamers and sugar bowls, to dinner plates, bowls, tall graceful pitchers and full sets of dinnerware.

The full article can be found at : Sonoma Magazine