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Works in progress

For years, ceramic artist Julia Janeway labored in a 6-foot-by-6-foot shed on her rural property on the outskirts of Ashland, competing for space with water lines and a pump.

"I worked in that pumphouse even when it was boiling hot or freezing cold. When you find something you love, you will persevere through situations," she says.

When she and her husband decided to build a carport, he suggested they add a second floor so she could have a real studio.

Janeway now has a light-filled studio that looks out on tree-covered hills surrounding her home at 2000 Ashland Mine Road. Racks hold her in-progress ceramics and a center table provides a work space. A separate toasty-warm room contains a kiln holding her own recently fired ceramics plus whimsical works created by her children, ages 7 and 9.

Members of the public can visit Janeway's studio during the Ashland Open Studio Tour, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11-12. Dozens of artists from the Ashland, Talent and Phoenix areas are participating in the free tour. Many will be demonstrating their techniques and offering pieces for sale.

Tour maps are available at Ashland Gallery Association galleries or online at www.ashlandost.com/map. A list of galleries is available at www.ashlandgalleries.com/galleries/.

Janeway says her studio has changed her life.

A former English professor, she now works full-time as a mother and artist, exhibiting her ceramics in venues such as Hanson Howard Gallery in Ashland, Rogue Gallery & Art Center in Medford and the annual Clayfolk Pottery Show and Sale.

"I am very grateful for this space," Janeway says. "When the kids were little, I could get them down for their naps and come here with the baby monitor. This space has allowed me to stay at home."

The landscape around her studio provides inspiration, as do the wild turkeys, foxes, jackrabbits, chickadees, deer and other creatures that frequent her property.

Using an illustrative style inspired by woodcut and lithograph prints, Janeway frequently incorporates wildlife and farm animal imagery into her colorful, cheerful pieces.

Janeway will demonstrate a carving technique she uses to create images on her ceramics at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Other artists will demonstrate a range of other skills at their studios, including thread sketching, digital painting, painting with pastels, stone carving, metal cutting and printmaking.

Artist Denise Kester will demonstrate printmaking at 3 p.m. Sunday in her spacious studio at 440 Helman St., Ashland. She will be working and visiting with the public throughout the weekend of the open studio tour.

"To me it's a very sacred space where people are comfortable and I'm comfortable. It's a fun and special place but also a working studio," Kester says.

Surrounded by garden plants, the studio is in her backyard, which abuts Ashland Creek.

Other studios on the tour include mixed media artist Pamela Haunschild's mountain studio at 460 Mt. Ashland Ski Road, clay and metal artist Cheryl Kempner's hillside garden space at 447 Pape St., Ashland, potter Hannah Brehmer's studio and gallery in an old horse barn at 188 Beacon Hill Lane outside Ashland, working studios in the Ashland Art Center at 357 E. Main St. in downtown Ashland, and painter Denise Souza Finney's studio in a converted 100-year-old barn amid lush gardens at 225 Ohio St., Ashland.

People visiting studios can enter into a drawing to win one of two prizes — $100 toward the purchase of art from a participating artist or gallery, and two tickets to the annual A Taste of Ashland culinary and art event in April 2015.

For a complete list of participating artists and more information, visit http://www.ashlandost.com/.

Julia Janeway started her business in her pump house at her home in Ashland. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch