Friday, November 04, 2016
THE PINE TREE (CALAVERAS) -- In a sunny valley near Mountain Ranch, Steven Brownell is standing in the open doorway of his garage, sipping coffee from one of his signature mugs. Behind him, several shelves of ceramic art sit in various stages of completion. A ceramics class at Calaveras High School introduced Brownell to the craft, and he would go on to earn his M.F.A. in ceramic arts from San Francisco State. In 2012, he decided to return to his childhood home in Mountain Ranch to commit himself full time to making his work. An ongoing relationship with the Calaveras Arts Council has helped introduce a larger audience to his products, which are on par with anything you might find from a high-end retailer. As Brownell explores his vision with new directions in ceramic vessels, the mugs, demitasses and vases are hot items that he promotes through his popular Instagram feed, the Arts Council gallery and at events in the Bay Area.