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Meet Sarah Houde : Clay


Sarah Libourel Houde began making pottery in 1978 while a senior marine biology major in college. As her interest in pottery grew so did the requests from friends to make teapots, lamps, and mugs. While continuing her studies in marine biology in graduate school she bought a used kiln and potters wheel from a aspiring potter turned marine scientist. The graduate study was completed in 1985 but the urge to make pots kept Sarah from devoting her life to science. By 1987 Sarah was entrenched in her waterfront studio on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland making fish platters and other pottery to sell at local galleries and  art fairs. With the exception of a break to have a son in 1989, she has been potting full-time since.

“I used to fight my connections to everything aquatic. A number of years I ago I stopped fighting it and went 'whole fish' into my work. My current work includes surfaces richly textured with shells, lace, leaves and other found objects. My work reflects my love of the marine environment, with fish handles embellishing my 'Scales and Tails' baking and serving pieces. Bas relief starfish and shells adorn each 'Starfish' piece. These pieces are fun and functional. My Raku fish urns are available in several marine fish species including striped bass, mahi mahi, triggerfish, atlantic spadefish, bluefish, and dolphin. Each piece is painstakingly created to include a unique 'sea garden' complete with blue crabs, mollusks and. small fish. My tile series includes heron, dragonfly, wave, sea nettle, and dogwood wall hangings.  Her most recent work includes sculpted lifelike seashells and raku fired 'fish prints'.”

Presently, Sarah's work is sold at Carmens Gallery and AnnMarie Garden in Solomons, Md; Finders Keepers in Destin, Florida; North End Gallery in Leonardtown, Md; American Craftworks in Annapolis, Md; Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard, Md;  Rehoboth Art League in Rehoboth, Delaware.

Sarah has participated in many juried shows including Artsfest and Unique Boutique, Sugarloaf Mountain shows in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, spring and fall shows in Occoquan, Va, Officers Wives Club show at the Naval Academy, Tea Party show, National Arts and Crafts Show in Gaithersburg, MD; Rehoboth Art League Summer Show; Peters Valley Fall show; Virginia Fine Crafts Show in Annadale, VA; as well as Solomons Arts and Crafts Festival, and Oyster Festival.

Sarah has been featured in many gallery shows at the North End Gallery and Annmarie Garden Gallery as well as in a recent magazine article.  Sarah is a member of the Crafts Guild of St. Mary's County, North End Gallery, the Rehoboth Art League, NCECA and Potters Council. When time permits she loves to spend time on the water fishing and in her garden.

Sarah’s studio is open by appointment. Her annual holiday open studio will be held Dec. 5-6, 2009; 10 am -5 pm. All are welcome. For Directions please call (301) 373-2297. Please bring canned goods for donation to The Hope food locker (Holiday Open Studio only).  Sarah’s studio is listed in Southern Maryland’s Earth, Art, and Imagination Trail. Please ask for a guide or visit

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