Living the Creative Life: Claudia Cave, Ella Rhoades, Cynthia Spencer

On Monday the “Salem Tribe” (Heidi Preuss Grew, Kristin Kuhns, Corrie Loomis Dietz and me) went to the Corvallis Arts Center to see the drawing show “Making a Mark” which comes down May 18th.  Though I have some drawings in the show and wanted feedback, really I was thinking they might all really like this interesting show for different reasons.  The Arts Center is closed Monday but curator/exhibition director Hester Coucke met us and let us look around…

Arts Center

Arts Center 12

Three Corvallis artists (Claudia Cave, Ella Rhoades and Cynthia Spencer) joined us and invited us to tour each of their studios … a nice inducement for us to drive down!

First we went to Ella’s house.  Ella Rhoades is a mosaic artist currently involved in a huge civic project…making mosaic panels for insertion in the utilitarian cement trash receptacles around town…

trash can 2

Over 900 volunteers (including the 4 of us) have helped fashion the mosaic panels which will soon be installed and grouted in place…

trash can mosaic

and after a tour of Ella’s studio and projects…

ella studio 1

glazesE kitchen wiindow

E bathroomfree Library 1Ella sign

we plopped onto her deck in the beautiful garden for our lunch…

E garden

lunchE clematius

On we went to Cynthia’s.  Cynthia works with clay, hand-building all manner of items both functional and not.  She’s having a garden/studio sale this weekend, and also has a beautiful garden…

C garden

and a house full of wonderful ceramics pieces from a variety of artists…

C squirrelC tea cupC ephmera 1

We checked the garage seconds shelves (ready to move into the garden for her sale…)

C seconds

and headed down to her basement studio…

C kiln 1C kiln 2

C toolsC work tableC & H

including her ingenious set-up for photographing her work…

C photo corner

and finally on to Claudia Cave’s studio.  The group got side-tracked at her floors though…sanded and painted floorboard revealed when the carpeting was taken up in 2000.   Rag rolled paint, sealed…gorgeous…

CC floor

CC paintCC bird bookCC ballet bird

CC studioCC new work

CC strings in houses

We were all amazed at Claudia’s wonderful adjustable table…

CC table

We headed to Coffee Culture for a rejuvenating coffee to discuss our day…

coffee culture

and we were off home where my new cup from Cynthia’s sale looks pretty good with a couple of small Heidi pieces…

home again

Thanks to the Corvallis crew for a great day full of good talk…and great images to carry home.


  1. It was a pleasure to see Ella and Cynthia’s studios and artwork as well as interact with the Salem “Art Tribe.” Thank you Bonnie for putting it all together

  2. Marvelous day! Thoroughly enjoyed the interactions! Always inspiring to get out of the studio to see how others are working…living…xoxo

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