About Esther Starke
I have been working in ceramics since 1977, when I started taking classes at the College of Marin. I was in class there for about 10 years, until a family move took me to Dallas, where I worked at Richland College and in a group studio called Olla Podrida. During 12 years there, I sold my work in galleries ranging from Dallas and Nacogdoches to Atlanta, Carmel and Point Reyes.
Upon returning to California in 2000, I found the Terra Linda Ceramics Group and have continued to work there happily ever after. Before I came to this group I had only worked in high ﬁre clay and glazes, but have now made the switch to low ﬁre and enjoy all its new challenges.
About My Work
When I started my ﬁrst class I just wanted to learn to throw pots. Then one day I made a very small Noah’s Ark, and that started me on my journey. Next came small Noah’s Ark tea pots, large tea pots and a very large ark with three levels, all the paired animals, provisions and Noah with his family. By then I was hooked for life. Much of my work since then has featured all manner of animals, birds and even ﬁsh.
In a way, I think of my pieces as representing the middle of a story. The viewers, if they wish, can imagine the beginning and the end, and I am free to create any playful thing I want without ever thinking why. It is a great joy to watch, and see, what appears out of the pinched and prodded clay. I love doing animals and people with a whimsical bent. My greatest pleasure is to create objects or settings that make me smile. And if they make others smile as well, that’s even better.