I think of myself as an artisan/artist. I work with artisans and artists. I believe it is my responsibility to promote artists and artisans whenever I can. That is why I wrote about Ephraim Pottery and it is why I am writing an unabashed, unapologetic endorsement of my friend Arlene, the owner of Arlene’s Pottery and Gallery in Boulder Junction, WI.
I have known Arl since we were little girls – campers at Camp Osoha in Boulder Junction. We were also counselors there, working together one year in Blue Herons (the cabin for 11 year olds – How’s that for a friendship crucible?). Arl was always into arts and crafts, and as a counselor, ran the arts and crafts program at Osoha. It came as no surprise that she would make art her profession.
For years, she travelled the art fair circuit, selling her pottery. Next thing I knew, she had moved to Boulder Junction, built a house, and opened her gallery on Main St.
Arlene’s Pottery and Gallery, of course, features her own work. Her innovations surprise me every time I go to visit her: Ceramic flowers and beads; oil lamps, votive holders, and dog accessories all round out a production that focuses equally on the Northwoods and whimsy!
Arl also supports other artists and artisans in her gallery. She is choosy about the work she accepts, so expect excellent quality – both in craftsmanship and in artistry. She works on consignment, so prices are set by the artisan/artist and Arl collects a commission for her part in the sale. You’ll find other ceramists, photographers, painters, sculptors, wood turners, jewelry makers, textile artisans and much more.
Arl is also a force in the Northwoods art scene – active in the local artists’ studio tour, in the big Muskie Days celebration, and in the Manito Art League.
So, make a trip to Boulder Junction, or a side trip, when you’re up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and tell Arl that” Jetsy sent you”!