RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Pam Tagariello's ceramic masks vary in color and style, but all reflect a garden theme.
Potter's innovative masks are firmly planted in the outdoors
More than 20 ceramic masks are strewn around Pam Tagariello's living room, but she can't bear to part with any of them.
The African-style masks are embellished with porcelain accessories and possess a tribal feel, others adorned with leaves have more of an Erte appeal. The hand-built masks vary by color, material and texture, but all of them were made with a garden theme in mind, Tagariello explained.
"One piece definitely leads to another," said Tagariello. "I imagine many of the masks, especially the ones with leaves, hanging on trees or in a garden. They need to be around plants or in a yard."
She hopes to soon have a showing that will put all of the completed pieces on display.
Tagariello, who normally works with pastels, printmaking, figures on paper and collage, began dabbling in hand-building while visiting a friend's house. After taking a class through Hawaii Potters' Guild less than a year ago, she began passionately creating hand-built masks.
Each mask takes about five hours to complete, which includes two firings. Linoleum carvings are often used to add leaves or other finishing touches, a skill Tagariello perfected through printmaking. Through the guild she has learned to make glazes, fire the kilns and use spray guns.
One of the biggest perks of taking classes through the guild is the use of studio time, she said. "Students can get a lot of hours of practice. We also work alongside professional artists and advanced students -- we have an opportunity to continually learn."
That sort of response is music to Queenie Kwock's ears. As one of three vice presidents of the Hawaii Potters' Guild, she strives to promote the guild as an educational institute.
Established in 1967 as a nonprofit organization committed to the support and development of ceramic arts and crafts, the guild has grown into a successful studio with many of its potters active in the local art scene.
"Clay work depends upon a lot of practice," said Kwock. "The more students take advantage of the studio, the faster they develop into an accomplished potter ... they learn techniques faster." All levels of potters use the studio, from novices to 30-year veterans.
"There is a great deal of personal satisfaction when learning these kind of skills, Kwock said. "Everyone needs to find their niche to express themselves."
Classes meet three hours per week for 10 weeks, from Saturday to May 26, at Hawaii Potters Guild's studio, 2480 Bingham St.
» Tuition: $165 plus $127 for clay; members $150
» Register: At www.hawaiipottersguild.org; call 941-8108, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
» "Animals and Figure Sculpture": 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, with Rochelle Lum
» "Boxes and Beads": 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, with Esther Nowell
» 9 a.m. to noon Mondays, with Steve Martin
» 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays, with Daven Hee
» 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, with Gerald Toyama
» 9 a.m. to noon Fridays, with John Bades
» 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, with John Vongvichai