Recently, I wrote about the beauty of hands, and it reminded me of a trip we took several years ago to Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. We flew into Seattle and then took a ferry to the quiet island with quaint villages and great outdoor recreational opportunities.
Orcas Island offers many ways to appreciate its beauty, and I’ll write more about them soon. But one experience that I found most unique was Orcas Island Pottery. Since 1945, four generations of potters have owned Orcas Island Pottery, and through the years, more than 30 potters have worked there, honing their craft and developing their artistic styles.
A short drive from Eastsound, the main village, Orcas Island Pottery is famous on the island and a destination in itself. The pottery sits on a 100-foot high bluff overlooking the President’s Channel, with a view, we had heard, that would take our breath away.
To get there, we drove through what the locals call “the enchanted forest”, an area of old growth cedars and Douglas fir, and came upon the pottery place. Pathways led us to lush gardens, fountains, a swing, and even a tree house nestled in the branches of a 200-year-old cedar.
And the pottery!
When we walked to the back of the main building, there it was, sitting on tables and benches and even the ground. To see it displayed outdoors surprised me. And in such a gorgeous setting! The swirling and linear patterns of deep, rich colors seemed extra brilliant against the backdrop of the blue water of the President’s Channel. It was the kind of place that made you want to stay a while.
After enjoying the marvelous view and browsing leisurely, we settled on a pattern of rust, blue, and gold and bought some pieces for ourselves and friends. (You can see the pattern, Santa Fe, on the picnic table on the right in the photograph above.)
I was reluctant to leave such a unique place, but we knew we would have other opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Island. And looking back on it now, our trip to Orcas Island is one of our favorite vacations ever.
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To find out more about Orcas Island, click here.