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A visit to Plum Bottom Pottery and Gallery is not a “stop by” proposition. It is off the usual beaten track of Door County attractions, but well worth a special trek.
Located on Plum Bottom Road, west of Highway 42, then down a gravel driveway, stands an enchanted cottage, appearing as if it had just sprung from the woods. The grounds are dotted with outdoor art and awash with colorful perennials in summer.
Step inside and explore the newest porcelain creations of resident artist Chad Luberger. Luberger is a nationally known artist specializing in one-of-a-kind sculptural and functional pottery. He is known for his unique glaze style and brilliant color palette.
The affable Luberger will give you a tour of the carefully curated, light-filled gallery, which features his pottery, plus the work of more than 40 other artists. The collection is personally selected by Luberger, and features a variety of mediums, including jewelry, printmaking, painting and sculpture.
“I look for art that is highly personal. You can really see the hand of the artist in every piece,” he explains. “And the work is always changing, it is a completely new gallery every 6 weeks.”
Luberger began his art career as an apprentice to the legendary Door County potter Abe Cohn at the Potter’s Wheel in Fish Creek. It was during this experience that Luberger learned to take time to focus on every detail in the process of creating art, connecting to each individual part of the piece. Or as Abe Cohn told him simply, “When it’s ready, it’s ready.”
He learned the art of porcelain in Jingdezhen, China, the birthplace of porcelain. Fun fact: Jingdezhen is the sister city to Door County. (Mention that casually at your local coffee shop, and watch them be amazed. You’re welcome.)
One of Luberger’s signature porcelain series is the “Wallflower” (above). Each layer of petals is individually sculpted into a shape both organic and abstract, and is then glazed after painstaking color testing and development.
His latest pieces are Ikebana (above), the Japanese term for “the art of flower arranging.” “The Ikebana is an easy way to arrange simple cuttings from your garden,” Luberger explained, “and mine are one of a kind pieces of sculpture.”
All of the many Door County artists have just as many reasons for choosing to live and create here. For Luberger, it begins with, “Just look around; this landscape, the variety, the beauty. It’s just plain inspiring.”
But beyond that are “the unique possibilities” in Door County.
“We have nine potteries with galleries: potters thriving, creating, and making a living. That kind of thing doesn’t exist anywhere else in the United States. It is possible to sell art here, even if you are off the beaten path and hidden off the road,” he explained.
So go ahead and take the road less travelled. Explore. You will be amazed at the treasures you will discover.
Photos supplied by Plum Bottom Pottery and Gallery.
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