Sandy Spring Museum hosts Resident Artist Open House

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Robin Ziek sits at her potter's wheel creating a new piece to eventually display in her studio. Photo by Michael Revollo.

SANDY SPRING, Md.– Local artists showcased their work to the Montgomery County community at the Resident Artist Open House at the Sandy Spring Museum on Saturday.

The event, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month, features 11 artists specializing in different crafts, from clay-making and watercolor painting to jewelry-making, just to name a few. The Resident Artist Open House provides an opportunity for local artists to sell their artwork to their community.

Robin Ziek, one of four different potters based at the museum for the past four years, got into clay works when she was in college just like her fellow potters did, but strayed from her craft upon graduation and starting her professional career.

“I worked in architecture and archaeology and came back to clay after I retired,” said Ziek. “We all started in college, had careers and came back to clay when we retired because of family and money.”

In her pottery studio, Ziek has a wide range of pots, bowls, mugs, plates, bird baths and many more clay-formed items on display for visitors to admire. 

A plate created by vitreous enamels artist Susana Garten called ‘Winter Snowflakes.’

Susana Garten, a vitreous enamels and metals artist, has worked at her craft for 32 years– or as she puts it, “quite a while.”

Vitreous enamel is a glassy material that is mixed with metals during the firing process to provide the glossy, polished look on items such as pots, vases, or other household items.

Garten gains her inspiration for her craft through music, nature and events taking place in the world, and attempts to emit her own message through her work.

The metals artist, however, knows people might take away their own messages and interpretations from observing her art, and she finds that to be just as pleasing.

“I want them to take away something meaningful from that,” said Garten. “We all bring different things with us when we’re looking at a piece of art or listening to a piece of music. If they see something different there, if it’s meaningful for them, whether it’s the combination of colors or the texture, then that’s fine. As long as they get something out of it, whether it’s the same thing I got out of it putting into it, it doesn’t make any difference.”

The next open house will be held on Jan. 5. More information can be found here.

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