Sally Gierke artwork available in the Figge Art Museum's virtual presentation Explore the Store -- December 3.

Thursday, December 3, 6:30 p.m.

Presented by the Figge Art Museum

Gifted artisans who have original works for sale in the Figge Art Museum's Museum Store will be celebrated during the Davenport venue's virtual Explore the Store event on December 3, with participants having to chance to meet (online) Sally Gierke, who fashions woodland creatures of clay while creating in her portable tent known as a yurt.

A longtime artist and educator who has enjoyed exhibitions at venues including Quad City Arts, Davenport's Studio 15, the Rock Island Library, and the Figge, Gierke states in her biography at “As a potter and muralist for the last three decades, I have always been in search of new ideas and sources of inspiration. Living in the Midwest, the undulating fields, rambling Mississippi River, and harsh winters have influenced my creative approach to ceramic surfaces. My emotional responses to weather events, subtle or dramatic shifts in light, color and season, are true subjects of my work. My husband and I have raised three wonderful and creative children and have enjoyed introducing them to travel, visits to museums, hands-on workshops, participation in arts programs, and everyday discussions. Even though they have various interests such as law, community service, music, architecture, soccer and wine-making, they have always been able to pursue their own artistic fields. They have grown up at art fairs and museums. I feel lucky that I was able to work with clay through all these years and have learned so much working at home.”

As Gierke continues in her Artist Statement: “Each spring I find myself renewed and refreshed, anxious to explore new directions and techniques. By the time buds are sprouting, so, too, is my discovery of interesting shapes and terrain with natural clay colors. Surfaces are embellished with patterns, carved designs, stamped impressions, colored slips, altered and slab attachments, and wax resist. Observing various types of landscapes has made me conscious of natural clay colors, interesting patterns, and images. The interaction between nature and my ceramic forms is at the heart of my craft. By the time the warmth of summer has arrived and I am involved with various clays, such as earthenware, porcelain, and stoneware, my work seems to have grown. Leaves of fall and golden fields of corn lead me to warm and soothing glazes and earthy reduction firings. I store up the fruits of my labor for future shows and settle in for cold days in my studio just as the tree leaves drop and days grow short. Soon, I start to feel energized for the next year of discovery of inspiring ceramic forms and new direction.”

The virtual Explore the Store event will also give participants an online audience with Quad Cities native Scott Jacobs, who creates functional and artistic pieces using locally sourced wood, and while the Figge's presentation is free, advance registration is required. Participants will receive an e-mail with a Zoom link two hours before the program begins at 6:30 p.m. on December 3, and for more information and to register, call (563)326-7804 or visit

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