The 55th annual Soto Studio Show with Maestro Soto, Family & Friends


On the last day of the semester and my Jewelry Techniques Class, I had the pleasure of making a journey to attend the 55th Annual Soto Pottery and Art show….


…After an hour ride and a long country entrance we arrive at the Soto Studios.



  In addition to creating amazing Ceramics, both sculptural and functional;

Ishmael creates great metal sculptures….

…and sculptures are Everywhere!

Those that know me know of my passion for all Arts and also know I really love sculpture.

 {…as an aside: in addition to pursuing my Art Metal, Sculpture and Blacksmithing degrees…{yes all three} I earned 1st Place Gold Medal in all of Texas for Metal Sculpture last year with my project the Lunar Arc of enDrakkar… fwiw: here is the narrative ~>  }

Back to the Art Farm….


 My Jewelry Instructor and friend Martha Soto, Ishmael’s daughter, gave us the tour of the Studio, the kiln, and the homes there.


What a wonderful place.

 If there is a heaven,

I would hope in most ways it resembles this place.

 A Place where Friends and Family can gather, make Art, enjoy each others company, good food  and enjoy some peace and quiet in the clean country air…


the Maestro Soto’s Sculptures…










I Love this Studio and Space!!!  ….


{interesting little side note and story: this sculpture was in need of repair before it could be sold and transported…

We have everything But brazing rod and flux…

“Hmmmm… I just may have this,…. May….”  I am fresh from class and had my Lincoln duffle-bag with all my Welding and Jewelry supplies…

YES!  score!    Saved!


…back to the Art…


everywhere one looks, there are ceramics…

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… Ishmael is a great designer.  He recently sat down with me and we went through one of his many large sketch books.  He draws inspiration from everywhere, a certain line or form can inspire a work of Art.

Two examples are:

~He pointed to a photo of an aerial view of cars in hiway traffic….and below it was the ceramic sculpture it inspired.

~He pointed out some photos of the jagged cliff sides on the Rio Grande from Big Bend state park,…. and what I thought was another photo of the same area was actually, after he pointed it out, a photo of the ceramic sculpture it inspired!…It looked just like a natural landscape.

It was good to sit down with him and see some of his sketches, at every turn of the page was something amazing and some new piece of artistic insight and advice.  Ishmael is so genuine, so kind, patient and so concerned with his student’s success and learning.  He has that indefinable charm and genuineness that just moves you.  Yes, I count these among my best Artistic experiences. but even more so; on just a personal level.  Ishmael has great humanity…


In his sketch-book, it was also evident…IMG_20141213_165203 IMG_20141213_165228

that he studies Mayan Artistry…



these Adamite-protean figurines are everywhere….. and I find them intriguing….

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for the event the studio was opened to a few Artists who I had to hear from…

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then there is the Hand~built Kiln where the magic happens…

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Martha explains the operation of the hand~built Soto kiln…

{I am honored have this experience…}


& Part II of the Kiln…

I find a charm in all these lil odds & ends…and relics..

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I would have been absolutely happy with this experience alone, it already exceeded any expectations I may have had, and I would have counted it as a day well spent and been content;…

but my ride was leaving too soon for me, I wanted to see more and hear more from the Artists..

Martha knows my passion for all Arts and other Artists and was gracious enough to offer to get me a ride back a bit later somehow and invited me to stay,… so of course, I said yes.

{I had no idea I would be also invited to stay for dinner}


The Country air is so clean.  We sat beside a huge bon-fire under the clear country sky watching the peak Gemenid Meteor shower for a while…

then we all were treated to a big delicious dinner of home~made Ham and all the trimmings.

To be invited to dinner and welcomed into the Soto Family home and enjoy a meal with a room full of Artists was an amazing experience.  How it is that I am here I can only attribute to their graciousness.

As an Artist, these are some of the moments I live for, and moments I will always remember and count among my fondest.

To live an Artful Life and share it with Friends and Family is what it is all about.  There were three generations of Artists at the table.  Wealth is counted by life’s joys, Ishmael is a wealthy man indeed.

I hope to have some measure of such good fortune of my own some day.  All I can do is to keep living passionately and pursuing my Arts.  Though I don’t put much faith in the world in general, I do put great faith in Friends, myself and my passion for Art.  These moments are my recompense.

I must be doing something right. Thank you universe.

We were eating off plates that are older than I am.


After Dinner I always wash dishes, but this was special, I got to see all the different designs Ishmael made over the years and handle each heavy plate.

What a great meal and what a great experience with great Artists.  I am forever in awe….

That was December 13th (12/13/14)


This is late February…

Those who know me know how important my Academic pursuits are.  They are right up there with my Artistic Pursuits.  This semester I almost didn’t have an academic schedule at all.  Somehow in the 11th hour I was able to clear some things up but all the classes were full, I took the whole day waiting and hoping there would be an opening in at least one class.  Again, somehow at the last hour, even after the official deadline I was able to find an opening in both classes I wanted.  Metal Sculpture with Tom Gingras, … and Ceramics with Ishmael.

{Again,… thank you Universe!}

I am happy to say I am in Ishmael’s Ceramics Class…

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I am not sure how many of the students realize it, but as far as I am concerned Ishmael is a Living Art Legend and a Living Treasure, aside from being a great guy and an inspiration.

I have said it before, Ishmael is so genuine and caring and concerned for his students learning and success.  I value every moment of every class.  He always takes time to show students something new and to take interest in their work, even my work, such as it is…

I wanted to organize a lil birthday party for him all day during Class.  I mentioned it to his daughter Martha and, well she made it happen and invited family and friends.  There was so much food!

I brought a Birthday cake, some Organic Coffee as usual, and some Organic Fruit.

Martha brought one of her awesome Home-made,  deep-dish Cinnamon Apple Pies!   This could be a whole other business.  These pies are amazing!


Happy Birthday dear Ishmael ….

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You are looking at Three generations of Sotos…

these are the moments I hope and live for…

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The title says it all…’Another Art Book’  …

here is just a glimpse of the Art book library~

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Three generations…..  Ishmael, Ishmael’s son and grandson.

Art,  Family, Friends & food…these are some of the moments I live for.


I brought this birthday cake, a bunch of organic fruit, coffee cake and organic Nicaraguan coffee with Texas Pecan ….

And I gave him the first piece of Ceramic I made in his class.




















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