While Marrowstone Island may best be known for its beautiful state parks and often empty stretches of sand, it also holds a number of hidden games, like Marrowstone Pottery & Pottery. In this week’s Faces of the Northwest feature, we introduce you to its owners, George and Helena Tsitsas.
The next time you’re on the island, don’t miss the chance to stop in for a visit.
Can you tell us a little about your business?
Marrowstone Pottery and Gallery was established in 2003 by George and Helena Tsitsas as a fully equipped studio open to the community specializing in hand made pottery and tile murals. Classes in “Pottery on the Wheel” and hand building are available during the year at the studio. After glazing, all of the pottery is fired in our 32 cu. ft. Hot Box Reduction Kiln to 2350°F (cone 10) and is fully functional for use. All of our hand made pottery and tile murals are sold at our facility and are displayed in our Gallery.
In early 2009 George began work on a new clay body and glaze formula for Flameware Pottery for cooking use on the burner and in the oven. That line of pottery is sold under the trade name, “Furnoware Pottery” and is only sold at the Marrowstone Pottery Gallery.
More information and links to videos and documents about the pottery can be found at http://www.marrowstonepottery.com.
Do you have any insider tips in regard to visiting
We strive to keep Marrowstone Pottery open during the week and on weekends from 10:00 am till 4:00 pm but sometimes other needs may cause us to be away. So, it is always a good idea to call ahead to make sure that we are in. If we are away or simply can’t pick up the phone at that time leave a message and we will call you back as soon as we can. Our phone number is 360-379-5169.
All of our pottery classes are on an on-going basis and include all levels of experience from beginners to expert. For more information about our classes please call the number above.
How did you get started in the business?
George worked as a professional Architect and Helena worked in the medical profession until retirement. We were both interested in the arts for most of our adult lives and in 1996 together we stated taking classes in pottery and tile making at a small community center is Tacoma. Shortly after that we took College level courses in pottery at Tacoma Community College and at Douglas College in southern Arizona where we lived for three years. When we returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2003 we decided that the time was right for us to open our own pottery both for sales and for our own personal enjoyment.
Is there something about you or Marrowstone Pottery that not everyone knows?
Even though George worked in the arts as an Architect it was Helena’s interest in Moorish ceramic tile design that introduced George to the art of pottery making. Whenever we travel abroad our main interest is to visit historic architectural sites and museums to study the classical arts.
When you have a day off, what are some of your favorite things to do in the Northwest?
In the past we really enjoyed boating in Puget Sound and up to the San Juan Islands and into Canada. Now we usually visit all of the great Pacific Northwest State and Federal parks and small towns in between. Since there are also great lakes on the Peninsula we occasionally take our small boat out for a little lake fishing.
If you had to describe what you love about the Northwest in 3 words, what would you choose?
Diverse unmatched beauty.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know
Even though Helena still loves beautiful hand made ceramic tiles, her interest has now shifted to the art of quilt making. So, even though there is still a small inventory of her work available for sale in our gallery, she is now producing hand made tiles on a commission basis only.
K.C. Dermody is the author of hundreds of travel articles both online and in print as well as the author of the “Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland.” She has traveled throughout the world and has a passion for imparting what she has learned from her experiences to others, but always appreciates coming home to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.