Amazing San Juan Artists: featuring Paula West Pottery

Updated May 2017

The magnificent beauty of San Juan Island inspires. Many famous and not yet famous artists, musicians, composers, actors, painters, sculptures and writers call the island their home. Island visitors and residents alike get to enjoy the fruits of their creative labor. What a treat!

Just a mile north of the Pelindaba Lavender Farm, on your way to the Whale Watch Park on Westside Road, you’ll find a simple sandwich board on the side of the road, reading: Paula West Pottery.  Go there! That’s where Paula makes her magic.

Paula, who graduated in 1981 from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Studio Art, has lived on San Juan Island for over 20 years, raising her two boys and sharing her studio with her sculptor husband.  She deeply believes that handmade things we surround ourselves with influence who we are and what we feel.  She loves being a potter, creating things people touch to their lips daily.  Paula works in porcelain and hand draws designs, using slips, wax resist, carving and sgraffito technique.  She works in series, to keep her art fresh and herself challenged.

Paula has always been a big fan of functional art; making things you can use or eat, knitting, gardening, sewing.  She makes white clay ceramics decorated with simple drawings. Her pots are wheel thrown and hand built with slabs.

Her studio is open to visitors most days (when the sign is out on the street), her mugs are for sale at Café Demeter down the street from the Earthbox Inn & Spa and Paula has an art booth in Roche Harbor all summer long.