In the eye of the molder

Miriam Davis’ “Beckoning"; porcelain, Cone 5 clay and oil paints.

Miriam Davis’ “Beckoning"; porcelain, Cone 5 clay and oil paints.

Clay may be the most humble of mediums, but talented hands can derive from it the most amazing pieces of art. Such metamorphoses are never more evident than in the annual California Clay Competition, up through June 3 at the Artery, 207 G Street in Davis. As the contest’s juror, clay sculptor extraordinaire Patti Warashina took on the daunting task of culling 43 show-worthy pieces from 321 entries. From the whimsical “Going to the Squirrels” by Timothy John Berg to the not-so-traditional “Icarus,” a raku-fired teapot by Gail Rushmore, the exhibit spotlights finely executed, often lyrical works. Then there’s Presley Martin’s “Chance Encounter,” a fool-the-eye piece that doesn’t even look like it’s made of clay. Tomas Owen was obviously inspired by the ancient “Venus of Willendorf” stone sculpture to create his own full-figured, modern-day goddess with “Blue Shoes.” For more information, call (530) 758-8330.