Ceramics on Main
Tucked between a snowboard shop and a glass and bead store is one of Frisco’s more interesting storefront art galleries.
Blue River Pottery, owned and operated by resident artist Catherine Lee Schmid, displays ceramic work by Schmid, her daughter Coral and a few pieces of fascinating metal sculpture by her husband “Smitty.”
In addition to being a family-run operation, the gallery represents a total of seven artists. The kaleidoscopic array attracts visitors before they even set foot inside. The work-in-progress edifice is inlaid with a variety of beautifully decorated tiles, identified by distinctive “totems” and a unique heated bench. The bench, called the “Colorado Hot Seat'” is the product of husband Smitty’s craftsmanship, inlaid with Catherine’s tiles. Its heated seat makes for a very comfortable place to rest when the winter temperatures begin to head downward. Similar benches are available for purchase and would make a terrific entry piece for any home.
But the real excitement starts the moment the visitor steps over the threshold and is met by a dazzling spectrum of ceramic wall pieces, bowls, trays, tiles and other utilitarian objects and art pieces of varying sizes and affordability.
From the whimsical’ “Hot Lips Hilda” bird feeders hanging just above the tiled transactional counter top to the fascinating wall hangings, the shop is a veritable idea generator. There are also several metal stands for dog bowls that are much more than just canine feeders.
Although the ceramic art is the main attraction, be sure to look closely at the decor. The Schmids gutted the location – formerly White Mountain Tours – as well as the space in back that was damaged by fire. In doing so, they created an interesting contemporary environment. A fascinating use of corrugated metal forms a panorama of silhouetted mountains around the perimeter of the gallery that continues into the superb studio space in the back. While it is not open to customers, the studio is a spacious, spotlessly clean and airy place to work. State of the art kilns grace the floor like modern sculpture, and the ceiling reflects contemporary architecture and the latest hi-tech ambiance.
Catherine Schmid speaks excitedly about the future, and given that this is the family’s third summer in Frisco – having relocated from the Virgin Islands – she promises more multi-media works “… (which is) where the market is headed,” she said.
Stew Mosberg writes about the art
market for local and national publications. He visits art shows, galleries and museums on a regular basis and can be reached at
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