Where art grows

Gail and I went off today on an excursion to the home and studio of Leslie Safarik, a ceramic artist who lives in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood off Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland.

It’s just another house from the street, but walking into the front door is walking into an explosion of her craft and others, filling the walls, floors and shelves wherever you look.


Leslie was born in the Bay Area, lived in Europe and South America, came back to go to college at California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA, they dropped the “crafts”) and has for over 35 years made a career of being an artist–she has never held another job.

Leslie Safarik

Leslie Safarik


You’d expect someone whose life work centered around form and color to have some interesting choices in clothing, and you’d be right.



In the back of the house, in what was once a 1 car garage, is her studio.  Tidier than most, well equipped to make the relatively large pieces she favors, it’s a professional workspace.

The large collection of glazes necessary to produce her colorful work.

The large collection of glazes necessary to produce her colorful work.


The rest of the backyard is garden and outdoor installation.  Artists gotta make art, and it’s easy to get a backlog.  I really like how they are all placed, not just stacked up.


We didn’t go with the intention of purchasing anything, this was purely a social visit.  Still, something caught my eye.  Never having been much of a dog fancier, I was surprised to find myself drawn to this piece.  Gail and I think it will work perfectly sitting quietly beside the fireplace in the den–every fireplace needs a dog, don’t you think?

My new pet.

My new pet.




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