Six inspired studio potters — from the St. George peninsula up the St. George River Valley farmlands and along the Penobscot Bay coast — will open their doors to visitors Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6 and 7. Their studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, welcoming tourists and clay aficionados alike to their workshops and galleries.

The second annual Midcoast Potters Tour offers an opportunity to learn about these artists’ studios, working methods, kilns and processes and to shop for finished pieces, knowing that purchases support the local creative economy of the Midcoast. For an interactive map and more details, visit Participants in the loop are as follows.

George Pearlman of St. George has shown his work internationally and has been the recipient of numerous grants, residencies and teaching positions throughout the United States and abroad. A potter for 30 years, he established George Pearlman Pottery in 1999 by designing and constructing his three-story building over seven months in 1998. His large, colorful vases are one of a kind.

Betsy Levine of Liberty built her soda kiln and established Prescott Hill Pottery in 2006. The former painter’s incised technique and atmospheric "painting" distinguish her high-fire stoneware and porcelain tableware, storage jars, vases and evocative vessels. Her work can be found in collections in the U.S. and United Kingdom, as well as in local galleries and shops.

Barbara Walch of Thorndike has been making handbuilt pottery since 1973. One of the few American potters who work primarily with the pinch technique, she offers handcrafted stoneware dinnerware. Barbara and her husband, Charlie Krause, are the proprietors of Fire Flower Garden, where her studio, Barbara Walch Pottery, has been since 1989. They offer extensive cottage gardens, cutting beds and a roadside plant stand.

Jody Johnstone of Swanville established her studio in 1996, when she began the design and construction of a 24-foot long anagama tunnel kiln after a two-year apprenticeship in Bizen, Japan. Johnstone makes a wide range of tableware, vases and large garden jars, firing similarly to the way they did in Bizen, though she has gradually discovered new techniques, especially in glazing and loading.

Siem van der Ven of Lincolnville worked as a goldsmith, carpenter/builder and art educator; while still teaching, he earned an MFA concentrating his studies on ceramics and drawing. Van der Ven’s distinctive work, characterized by meticulous and delicate carving, has won awards in several national juried competitions. It is held in both private and public collections including the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, the Canton Museum of Fine Arts and Harrisburg Community College.

Autumn Cipala of Thomaston discovered working with clay in 1992, while a student of painting at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She holds a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University; and an MFA from University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Her luminous work in translucent porcelain is inspired by nature and the work from many cultures, from China to Western Asia, North Africa and the Americas.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or