Beth Armbrust

Hello! Welcome to my website. My adventures in pottery began in the winter of 1999 when I was doing seasonal work at the Leavenworth Ranger District in Northcentral Washington State. Having the winter off, I bought myself a season ticket to the local ski area and signed up for a pottery class at the community college. My teacher was Indiana potter Bruce Bishop, and from him I learned that most wonky pots can be saved with a little patience but that there is no shame in cutting your losses and starting over. You get better every time you try again.

We moved to Tucson, Arizona in 2000 so I could pursue a Master’s degree in entomology. While there, I started taking classes with Maxine Krasnow at The Muse, a funky old YMCA turned community art school. Maxine encouraged me to stretch myself by trying new forms and challenged me to make sets of identical things (so much harder than it sounds!).

Tucson was good to us but also HOT! We escaped back to the Northwest in 2004 and set up in Seattle. I worked at the University of Washington and started taking classes at Montlake community center. I was just getting back into the swing of it when life was upended by the birth of my daughter. Time to spend at a studio disappeared and 10 years slipped by like a really good long weekend. In the middle of that I went back to school for Occupational Therapy and started working in geriatric rehab. In January 2020, I finally figured out how to get back in the studio at Seward Park Clay Studio in a class with Damien Grava. I was thrilled to find that I still knew how to center clay on the wheel! I was, once again, in career turmoil and Damien said (no doubt somewhat in jest) “you should be a potter!” It seemed unlikely at the time but did speak to a long not-so-secret wish. Then, just as I thought I’d found a new clay home, covid hit and we decided to bail out of the city.

We moved back to the Wenatchee Valley in August 2020. Feeling inspired by all the support from teachers, fellow students, friends and family, I set about putting together my own home studio in Cashmere. This has been fun but also intimidating as I had never before recycled clay, bought glazes, or fired a kiln! These are all challenges I am happy to take on. I feel so lucky to be able to indulge my love of clay right here in my own home. And sometimes I stop and gaze out my studio window at the looming ponderosa pine and the hillside dotted with balsamroot and bitterbrush and just feel lucky to be living here at all.