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The Paducah Sun


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TCR photo/Hawkins Teague

This is one of many unusual woodturning pieces created by Paul Ferrell that is now on display at the museum.

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TCR photo/Hawkins Teague

Pictured here is some pottery made by Patricia Ferrell, decorated by the brushstrokes of Tracie Griffith Tso. A picture doesn’t quite do them justice, since it helps to see up close the care with which the pictures were painted.

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TCR photo/Hawkins Teague

Although Tso’s painting often adorns Ferrell’s pottery, a few framed pieces are also on the JMAM walls, such as this portion of one of her works.

From Crofton to Cadiz: Brushy Fork Creek Studios comes to JMAM

Hawkins Teague

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Janice Mason Art Museum’s exhibit, “Rock, Paper, Lathe” opened Saturday night to a crowd that seemed eager to chat with the artists for most of the evening.

The show displays the work of Paul and Patricia Ferrell and Tracie Griffith of Crofton’s Brushy Fork Creek Studios. Paul said that he was intimidated by the amount of space available when he first looked at the gallery room, but said he was pleased by how they were able to spread out all three of their works.

Paul said that he used to design furniture when he fell in love with the art of woodturning. For this craft, wood is placed on a lathe, which is a machine that turns the wood around while the artist carves it. After a few years, he and Patricia opened the studio in 1980. Quite a bit of thought goes into Paul’s work. He said that he will typically age logs for two or three years before even thinking about applying a tool to its surface. After that, he will often carve a rough and age it for another year before finishing the piece.

Paul said he likes to work with cherry because of the purple and pink hues that can be seen on the finished pieces. He said he only uses “native wood,” or wood within a 25-mile radius from where he lives. For a woodturner, Kentucky is one of the best places to be.

“In this part of the country, resources are everywhere,” he said.

Patricia, said she used to help her husband with the woodturning but that sometime around 1983, she discovered that she had much more fun working with clay “because of its responsiveness.” She said it also has a very therapeutic value, which her students also recognize. Pottery isn’t the only thing Patricia does with her hands, either. In addition to creating exquisite dishes, she said she is also a licenses massage therapist. She gives massages at Brushy Fork Creek Studios when she isn’t selling her work.

“I can easily change hats,” she said. “I can leave the gallery, do a massage and come right back.”

Patricia’s craft is every bit as meticulous as Paul’s woodturning. She even makes her own clay, which she said is done through a sort of trial-and-error process. She said she is always looking for tips on how to make it better.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.