Spring has arrived at Taos Blue on Bent Street!
In the garden, green shoots burst forth from the thawing earth and birdsong fills the air, while inside the old adobe that was once the home of the co-founder of the Taos Society of Artists, Bert Phillips, Sue Westbrook has begun her seasonal ritual; rearranging, renewing and reinventing the displays of American made Arts and Crafts Taos Blue is known for.
“Windows are next!” She informed me as I noted the changes since I’d last dropped by.
I was taken by a collection of ceramic mugs and vessels displayed on the fireplace mantle in the front room. Their depth of colour and almost Japanese imagery drew me in for a closer look. They appeared to organically rise from the surface they sat upon, with their softly rounded, almost undulating forms.
Sue Westbrook directed me into the back room to see more of Tracy Hartman- Jensen’s work; two sconces, both featuring more of the birds that are a signature of her work.
Tracy is a native of Colorado, where she lives and works in a solar adobe home and studio on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Arkansas River and Chico Creek.
She says that much of her inspiration comes from living there, observing the ebb and flow of the river and the wildlife it is home to.
“The river is constant,” she says, “but ever changing. It is much like working with clay.”
Birds are a recurring theme in her work, along with other references to the natural world.
Most of her work is soda or wood fired as these high temperature firings produce the rich, earthy colours she favours.
Tracy says she was immediately hooked on clay from the very first time she touched it, and has spent most of her life “throwing, molding, mushing and pushing it.”
“At the end of the day, hard to say who has been molded the most, “ she observes. “Me or the clay!”
A collection of these would be just as beautiful on your table for an Easter Brunch, or just buy one to enjoy your morning cup of coffee outside in a sunny spot, listening to the birds heralding the Season.
Tracy’s beautiful work is available exclusively in Taos, at Sue Westbrook’s charming gallery on Bent Street. For more on Taos Blue, please visit the site linked below,
All photos taken on my iphone