ceramic Cave Creek, AZ
Member Profile

Darbyshire Pottery
Judy Darbyshire

I was born in NW Ohio farm country during WWII and attended the same small-town school for all twelve years. There was no so-called art education, we relinquished our crayons in grade 6, but I was always the "School Artist," and was stated in the yearbook my ambition to be a Commercial Illustrator. Unable to afford College, I took a series of jobs in company art departments where I learned about materials and techniques, and in less than a dozen years, was indeed a Commercial Illustrator (with no student loans!) but had no idea how to market my personal creations.

I made my first trip to Arizona when I was twenty and in a few years had married a young man who introduced me to Cave Creek, which I knew had to be my ultimate home town; we bought five acres here fifty years ago. Pivotal events occurred in the mid - 1970's - the marriage ended, I quit my last Art Department, a friend introduced me to pottery, and I stumbled upon the Premier Craft Fair of the recently formed Cave Creek Crafts Council. At last, I had something distinctive to make and a way to sell it directly to the public! The next couple of decades were spent doing local and not-so-local shows as well as placing pieces in various galleries.

Due to increasing conflict with promoter-owned shows, the Crafts Council had atrophied, but in 1994 some friends urged me to contact any remaining local artists to attempt a revival of the much-loved Arts and Crafts Festivals. We reopened as the Sonoran Arts League, but several years passed without a festival of our own. Previously, painter Jan Taylor had mentioned the Studio Tour concept to little attention, but when she and I were elected to the Board of Directors and informed that we'd be in charge of shows, we organized the first Hidden In The Hills.

Our 25th Anniversary in 2021 finds me as one of a surviving handful of participants in every Studio Tour. I no longer have to lug stuff to shows or deal with Galleries, and am fortunate to still be able to support myself by selling pottery and paintings from my own studio in my long-time home town.