Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center, Ben Lomond, California, non-profit Arts Organization

"The Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center supports and encourages the arts

through education, exhibition and cultural activities,

reflecting the unique and diverse environment of the mountain communities."



9341 Mill St.      Ben Lomond, CA      (831) 336-3513


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Ceramics by

Roberta Friedman


Grapevine Studio

215 Monterey St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060




My background in biology and chemistry come into play as I weave the natural world into my pieces. Years of experience in laboratories converge on the clay spinning in my hands and in the mixing and pouring of the glazes. I envision the flit of electrons among their orbits in cobalt, iron, and copper heated in the crucible of the kiln, creating the colors locked in glass bonded to the finished pieces. In my modest kiln I can recreate the slow intense processes deep within the Earth that yield the minerals I love to collect.

     At Left:    Plate from Dinnerware Set


My pottery experience began as I entered graduate school doing medical research in Nashville, Tennessee, inspired by a community with many potters and weekly crafts fairs. I returned to clay when I settled in Santa Cruz more than two decades ago; it kept me sane while raising three boys, who are now teenagers. I set up my own studio in 2002 in Live Oak then moved it with my family near Lighthouse field in 2004.
My studio in a greenhouse takes its name from the grape vine I planted that shades in summer and drops its leaves to let in the sunlight to heat it in winter--and whose leaves end up in some of the pieces! The power for the kiln and wheel is solar, as we put on panels on the main house. In harmony with nature, recreating her works, I look forward to many more productive years of creative ceramics for daily, affordable use.

     At Left:    Soap Dispenser - Ginko Leaf Motif - Celadon Glaze


I throw my functional pottery on an electric wheel. The glazes I use are of my own composition, guided by books, magazines, workshops and the Internet. Copper, iron, rutile, and cobalt are my primary colorants. I use frits for most of my glazes, and all are compatible for functional pieces with regular household use. For my clay appliqué process, I use the pad left over after cutting pots from the bat, and imprint leaves into the pad, then excise and apply. I also cast shells I gather on local beaches and other found objects to create bisque press molds that I then use to embellish my pots. I fire to cone six in an electric kiln powered by solar panels on the property.

        At Left:   Teapot & Mug with grapevine Leaf Motif




For a printable version of Roberta's Artist's Statement (PDF) Click HERE.

For a printable version of Roberta's Pottery Resume (PDF)  Click HERE.


At Left:    Teapot Set

Up • Bruce-Bangert • Jody Bare • Dale Bates • Brenda Berg • Fro Butler • Carolee-Burrows-Artist • Frank_Borovich • Roberta Friedman Ceramics • Helene • Dan & Laurie Hennig • Shirley-Hudson • Anouk-Johanna • Leah King • Linda A. Levy • Tina Masciocchi • Geoff-Jenny-Morten • Stephanie Schriver • Lorri Scott • GloriaS • Kathleen Miller Thomas • Breda Voss • Larry Worley


 Arts Council of Santa Cruz County   Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County

         California Arts Council   Bruce Bangert   North Glass   Phoenix Ceramics  

       Earth Matters Foundation    Valley Women's Club    New Leaf Market Felton


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