John Rose and Janice Stone of Arroyo Grande have opened a solar powered ceramic studio named Rose & Stone Pottery. The married couple, now professional partners, both hail from Arroyo Grande and graduated from Arroyo Grande High School.
By going solar, they dropped their energy bill by 75 percent. Firing a large kiln takes a great deal of energy. Now “our footprint is smaller,” Rose said, emphasizing that they are not using carbon fuel. “The sun is up there for everybody to use,” he added.
Rose graduated from UCSB with a degree in studio arts. But it was in high school that he had an experience that changed his life. He was in a very serious car accident that left him with a concussion. He was “zoning out,” and his art teacher encouraged him to enter an art show.
Rose entered water colors, pen and ink, ceramic sculpture and pottery categories. He won the whole show with a combination of his pieces. That “gave me a lot of confidence.”
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After college, Rose went to Los Angeles and became a master serigrapher, making large, color silkscreen prints. He went from silk-screening to making fine art prints, then to printing shampoo bottles, a more lucrative endeavor.
After Rose’s father died and his son was born, he brought his family to the Central Coast in 1984. Nobody was doing serigraphs here, but they were doing T-shirts. He silkscreened T-shirts and sold them at festivals. Soon, needing to make more money, Rose got work in design engineering, where he worked for 16 years.
Later, Rose began distributing clay and clay products between Santa Barbara and San Simeon for Laguna Clay. He is home-based and delivers clay products to schools, colleges, artists and businesses.
Stone has worked full-time for Cal Poly for 38 years as a library services specialist. She took a clay class at Cal Poly in 2006. When her dad died, she felt the need to make a Statue of Liberty, which sits in their front entryway.
“I can do this,” she told herself.
Stone likes doing slab work. She used to be a seamstress and finds putting clay seams together similar to working with fabrics. She and Rose both have their own studio space at home. Stone’s signature pieces might be her slab clay angels, often in raku, a type of Japanese pottery.
Stone will be exhibiting at The Day for Creative Women at Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo on Aug. 11. Both Stone and Rose plan to exhibit next spring at The Botanical Gardens sculpture show.
Rose’s clay work runs the gamut, from wheel formed functional ware to whimsical sculptural pieces. He is skilled in raku.
“I’m always pushing it to see how far I can go,” he said. “I don’t want to be boxed into any one style.”
The couple recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. In the future, besides holding more clay workshops at their San Luis Obispo Blue Rose Studio on Suburban Road, they plan to travel around the Southwest in a van doing crafts shows.
Rose and Stone are currently exhibiting at the Seven Sisters Gallery in Morro Bay. Contact Rose and Stone at 474-8308 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Gayle Cuddy’s column is special to The Tribune. She and and Cynthia Lambert write the South County Beat column on alternating Wednesdays. Reach Cuddy at 489-1026 or firstname.lastname@example.org.