Barbara Sebastian

Ceramic artist Barbara Sebastian crafts petite but powerful porcelain Storm Fetish Jars that serve as talismans, sacred containers for small mementos. “Initially, these jars were created near the end of our lengthy drought as I dreamed of rain,” states the Fairfax, CA artist. “I wanted to honor the elements associated with rain: clouds, water, lightning, growth. Since then, I have added beads, found objects, other items tied to the lid. When sticks are added to the lid, I think of them as kindling for the ‘fire’ of creativity, inspiration, and abundance. The interior of these containers honors the sacred space that is within each of us to dream, to create, and to dance with the elements, each in our own way.” Barbara’s jars are wheel-thrown and high-fired. Surface decoration is hand-carved to create an image of water, lightning or other atmospheric illusion. Interiors are glazed for function.

Barbara grew up Southern California and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in math and physical education. After teaching and coaching for several years, she became a full time clay artist in 1975, earning her BFA in ceramics and an MFA in sculpture from San Jose State University. In addition to her signature ceramic jars, she creates architectural clay wall works and painted murals that give her the opportunity to play with color on a larger scale. Barbara has exhibited her work at venues including the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC and the 3rd World Ceramic Biennale in Icheon, Korea. Her work is represented in collections including the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) in Pomona, CA.

“I believe in beauty and spirit,” says Barbara, “and hope to touch each viewer in ways that expand their vision and fill their hearts as mine is on a daily basis … I am grateful, every day, that I am an artist.”


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