Sunday, May 12, 2013

Frugal Family Entertainment in Northwest Arkansas

Terra Studios entrance with clay sculptures
Terra Studios near Elkins, Arkansas
Sometimes we shop in Arkansas for antiques and collectibles, particularly pottery and glass. We're also interested in contemporary Arkansas artists working in pottery and glass. We didn't have to go to Arkansas to see the Bluebird of Happiness that has sold so well that it's in homes and shops all over America, but we were thrilled to see a demonstration of how they're made.
We found directions to Terra Studios and decided we would trek over there and watch them make a bird or two. We spent the night in Fayetteville and antiqued in Rogers at one of the best smalls malls in the state -- The Rose. We stopped at a couple of other shops and dropped down past Elkins to locate Terra Studios, the home of the Bluebird of Happiness and the Pink Bird of Hope. We have no affiliation with Terra Studios, The Rose or any of the artisans. We're sharing our experience with you because it is free entertainment suitable for the whole family.
Handmade and blown glass from Arkansas glass artisans on display
Inside the Gift Shop at Terra Studios
The Terra Studios grounds are beautiful, with a fairy-like atmosphere of gnomes with clay and glass sculptures to create an enchanted village. We were pleasantly surprised that the gift shop at Terra Studios has exceptional work of contemporary potters and glass blowers from all over Arkansas. We knew a few of the artisans from other trips and from shows, but we don't know of anywhere that you'll find so much contemporary Arkansas pottery and glass in one place. And most of it is for sale.
Entrance to Gift Shop with Tile Art and Large Vase
We love the colored clay work of Siegele and Haley, and there was a display and several pieces for sale at Terra Studios. We also saw the work of Klay-Hawk Studios and local Elkins artisan, Chad E. Van Brunt. Other glass and pottery artists were equally impressive, and we spent lots of time soaking in the beauty. We watched how the birds are made and bought a few for friends. There is also a pottery shop onsite.
Sliced pottery bowl from Siegele and Haley colored clay
Siegele and Haley Colored Clay Bowl
Terra Studios has a picnic area and activities for children as well as adults. If you like to watch artistry in action or to take the kids for an outing, this is a pleasant out-of-the-way place you can enjoy without waiting in line or competing for tickets. It's free entertainment for the whole family not far from Fayetteville and it's worth your time. It's open every day, and you can see the hours and location at the Terra Studios website.