California artist Barbara Sebastian will be returning to this year’s La Quinta Arts Festival along with her fine ceramics. You will find teapots, fetish jars and small ceramic containers that are wheel-thrown and high-fired, intended to function more as a spiritual vessel “for a note, dream or ashes” than a functional piece of art. However, should the patron wish to use her containers for a practical purpose, Barbara has glazed the interior of the pieces to ensure durability and functionality.
Barbara Sebastian first worked as a high school teacher and gymnastics coach before turning to art full-time in 1975. She loves the “tactile, earthy quality of clay, and the metaphor of ‘centering’ associated with it”. Each item she creates is part of a larger spiritual journey, and each item you take home with you can be imbued with your own.
Ravens feature heavily in Sebastian’s work and while in Western culture, Ravens are often associated with death and harbingers of death and disaster, in other cultures this intelligent bird has a rather more reputable reputation. The raven is heralded for its wisdom, goodness and its status as messenger. After a magical experience with a raven and a persimmon in Japan in 2001, Barbara has created many unique items featuring ravens, crows and blackbirds.
Barbara’s work has been collected all over the world and she is truly a master in her craft. She writes that she is grateful, every day, that she is an artist, and what better place to visit her than at the La Quinta Arts Festival.