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Holiday Open House in East Otto next weekend

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For those looking for one-of-a-kind gifts, wanting to see the beautiful countryside or meet artists right in their studios, come to the East Otto Country Associates 32nd annual Holiday Open House on Nov. 3 and 4.

Hundreds of devoted patrons of East Otto Country attend this annual event on the first full weekend of November.

Members Elliott and Michael Hutten of Hog-Shed Studio Pottery and Robin Zefers Clark of Brookside Studio Watercolors welcome all to the studios where the artwork is created.

Guests can meet the artists and enjoy and purchase treasures that will make excellent holiday gifts ever if you can bear to part with them.

HOG-SHED Studio Pottery marks their 36th year of working with clay to produce lead-free, functional stoneware pottery that is safe for the dishwasher, microwave and oven.

Elliott and Michael live on a quaint farm in East Otto and have turned one of the old sheds into the most charming artists’ studio around.

Once there, patrons walk down a winding walkway past gardens and barn wood buildings to the front door of the studio. When entering the working pottery studio, see Elliott create pots from just a simple mound of clay.

Hog-Shed specializes in high-fired stoneware clay including functional and decorative pieces like mugs, bowls, casseroles, teapots, plates, vases and more. Elliott uses simple tools, a slab roller and potter’s wheel to make her professionally crafted pieces.

“We don’t use toxic materials in our glazes or in our clay, and our products are very functional and durable,” Michael said.

Just off the working studio is the gallery showroom, full of a variety of intriguing, shapely and colorful pieces. Elliott has special color patterns, such as Oneida oak, October jade and Gypsy Green. Customers can add to their own collection year after year.

“Many of our customers have become good friends throughout the years, so I look forward to each Holiday Open House as a chance to see old friends and make new ones,” Elliott said. “I am constantly amazed at how many people return year after year to add to their pottery collections and purchase gifts for others.”

Contact Elliott and Michael Hutten at 257-9549, 244-2967 or visit www.eastotto.com for directions to the studio located at 8420 Maples Road in Otto.

MAKE A STOP at Brookside Studio Watercolors where Robin Zefers Clark tells stories with her brushes when she creates original watercolor paintings, portraits and commissioned works. She also sells limited edition prints, reproductions, and note cards.

Robin had the studio built in 1989. The setting is tranquil and serene, set next to a lovely landscaped pond.

Robin has a magical way of breathing life into a treasured photo or image by transforming it into an original watercolor painting that is sure to become a prized family heirloom.

Her favorite subjects reflect rural life in the region and include local farms and landscapes, as well as “interesting faces and places.” Her Pet portrait paintings are a wonderful way to preserve the image of your favorite pets.  Paintings like “I’ll Wait for You” evoke a  sense of the love and feelings that we share with our pets.

Colored Pencil Painting is a new direction for Robin, and her eye for detail has captured the attention of many across the country. Employing her knowledge of color theory and skills in watercolor, Robin has combined them through the use of the needlepoint precision of artist quality colored pencils. All paintings are on an acid-free surface and employ the use of only the finest lightfast colored pencil pigment.

Contact Brookside Studio at 713-5359, or visit www.eastotto.com for directions to the studio, which is located at 8363 Maples Road in Otto.

At the end of the day, you’ll have explored some of the area’s finest artist studios and hopefully found some treasures or gifts you can’t live without, besides having had a nice drive in the country. Each studio will offer refreshments and some holiday treats, so the day couldn’t get much better than that.

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