Westside Studio Clayarts

By Lauren Titus / Photography By Amy Robb | November 29, 2016
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Bowl from Westside Studio
Crafting pottery and growing food are part of an artful life at Westside Studio in St. Augustine.

Watching hands create pottery can be meditative and hypnotic, as clay mixed with water is formed into a recognizable shape with a purpose. You get the sense you have stepped back in time to the origins of human history, when ceramics were essential containers for food and water. And while the form may follow the needed function of cooking and preparing food, the art of such creation is indeed present in each step of the process.

Bob Heim working on pottery
Westside Studio interior
shelves at Westside Studio
Bob Heim making pottery at Westside Studio
Chives in ceramic bowl at Westside Studio
Toni DeWitt at Westside Studio

The significance of handmade ceramic objects is evident in a visit to Westside Studio, home and workshop of Toni DeWitt and Bob Heim. Collaborating for over 35 years, these two potters/clayworkers consciously carry on the tradition and practice of studio pottery, with the limited production of handmade ceramic objects. “We design our pottery for serving fine food and daily fare, with the intention of adding beauty and enrichment to every meal,” said DeWitt. The art of everyday living can be seen throughout their park-like studio environment.

Bok choy in clay bowl at Westside Studio
Tray of plants at Westside Studio
Toni DeWitt holding blue and white bowl at Westside Studio
kale and scissors in blue and white bowl
orange and chive flower in blue and white bowl
mint in blue and white bowl at westside studio

Local and regional are not just buzzwords for DeWitt and Heim, as they intentionally live a low carbon footprint lifestyle. Their art is integrated with their daily activities, whether it is working with clay on the wheel or sowing seeds they have saved from previous seasons. Their studio sits just outside their home, alongside the garden growing much of their food. Kale, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, Seminole pumpkin and sweet potatoes, many of them heirloom varieties, are part of the bounty they cook and serve in their ceramics.

If indeed we eat with our eyes first, food served on pottery from Westside Studio is an artful way to satisfy a culinary and visual hunger.

Westside Studio pottery can be found at the Old City Farmers' Market on Saturdays at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.

Article from Edible Northeast Florida at http://ediblenortheastflorida.ediblecommunities.com/westside-studio-clayarts
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