Handmade with St. Croix Spirit

Marjorie Wade of Spiritworks Pottery describes her process and inspiration.

Marjorie Wade has called the St. Croix Valley her home for 24 years, and it’s where she started Spiritworks Pottery in 1998, after a longtime interest in art and creative pursuits. The name came from “the elements of spirit—earth, fire, water and air,” which she says all come together as she makes her pots. Her studio is located in the woods in Afton, and Wade says, “Being able to look out of my studio and see a hawk sitting in an oak tree or watch the deer walk by while I work on my potter’s wheel connects me to the earth and the nature of clay itself.” Her space is crucial to her process, and she says she’s always sure to fill it with objects that carry a personal meaning, from vintage artifacts to rusty tools.

She creates a wide variety of beautiful handmade pieces, but says her favorites are bowls and vases. Her daily process depends on what she’s making and where the clay takes her. She uses both a treadle-style potter’s wheel and hand-building techniques (for tapas or sushi plates, trays or folded vases). If she’s working with the wheel, she’ll prepare the clay in the amounts she’ll need for each piece. But she makes sure to add one caveat: “I am an identical twin, so I will never make two identical pieces.” Wade is one of the host studios for the annual artOPENer that takes place throughout the Valley, in early May this year.

COVERED JAR Show closes April 8
Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson