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Lauren HB Studio
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While in Castine vol. 3, part 1
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While in Castine vol. 3, part 1

I’m on creative sabbatical in Maine right now. This is our 3rd year of taking a month away from the daily goings on in NE Ohio to make art on the shores of the Blue Hill Peninsula. The act of leaving home is hefty-lots of logistics to organize for a successful trip before, during, and after. But once we make the two day drive and arrive in Castine, I feel this space emerge, space to explore and create away from the frenzy of my home studio. Below, photos of my work thus far. Plus, what I’m visually, mentally, and physically experiencing while in one of my favorite places on Earth.



The Place

Castine is a peninsula on a peninsula, one of the oldest towns in America, and filled with history, age, ocean life, bugs, flowers, a harbor, and the tiniest busiest Main Street. The stars are bright, the world is quiet and changing constantly. The tide hides and reveals so many treasures. The houses are old and revered. While Maine has long been an inspiration, my love for Castine has surprised me. There are enough activities to engage, but not enough to distract. And it’s the lack of activities that creates so much space to work.



The Work

As this time is about exploration, I’m challenging myself to experiment by not working in wet clay. I brought fabric to explore translating my clay wall sculptures in a new material. I also brought fired clay pieces to assemble with different ropes and cording. So far, these experiments have proved fruitful and revealing. I found an excitement and ease working in fabric. I see my porcelain sculptures as a transformation of material, and that is what I’m finding so far in fabric. Working in fabric allows a freedom to scale in ways that were much more difficult in clay. At the same time, I discovered that assembling fired pieces is not a direction I want to keep pursuing. It feels good to let off of this idea; I’ve held onto it for a few years, waiting for time to work through it. I recognized instantly a lack of ease, a bit of anxiety surfacing. It just doesn’t feel right, right now. I will finish this piece because I want to follow through on the idea. Maybe something else will emerge, but I feel fairly settled in letting this idea go.



The Food/Art/Books

Tinder Hearth has become a favorite of ours while visiting Maine. Their wood fired pizzas are delicious and the blooming garden is a perfect backdrop for a memorable evening.

Gallery B, operated by Goody-B. Wiseman, is filled with treasures on the wall, and in every nook and cranny. The work captures the essence of life on the Maine coast- the sunsets, the dark starry nights, the movement of water, in a cerebral way. While these subject matters are often explored, her artists do not exploit it. Their love for their subject matter is evident. Goody-B. herself is an artist, producing these evocative metal sculptures of children in animal costumes. She is also the person that brought me to Castine for my first residency here two years ago. I now sell pottery at her gallery!

The Creative Act: A Way of Being, by Rick Rubin, has been filling my ears with all the reminders one needs about how and why we make art. Though nothing he says is necessarily new, it is certainly an important reminder, said in both factual poetic ways. I’m listening on, and reading a physical copy I picked up at Compass Rose, the local bookshop. You can buy a copy from, an online bookseller that supports independent bookstores. Check out my recommendations here.

**This post contains affiliate links to If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend books that I have personally read and enjoyed, and I will never recommend a book that I wouldn't read myself.

The first 11 days here has been fruitful; I can only hope the next 17 will be just as good. Till then, have a good July!



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