National Register of Historic Places in Sonoma County

National Register #14000307: Pond Farm Pottery Historic District, California

National Register #14000307: Pond Farm Pottery Historic District

National Register #14000307: Pond Farm Pottery Historic District 30 August 2016
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National Register #14000307
Pond Farm Pottery Historic District
17000 Armstrong Woods Road
Austin Creek Recreation Area

Pond Farm Pottery Historic District contains three contributing buildings: a barn/studio constructed c1870 and remodeled in 1942, a house constructed in 1942, and a guest house constructed in 1962. Both houses are in the Second Bay Tradition of architecture.

Marguerite Wildenhain (1896-1985) lived and taught classes here for thirty years. Students rented rooms or camped nearby. They spent each day at their wheels mastering various throwing techniques and creating hundreds of forms. Because Wildenhain emphasized technique, her students did not fire or glaze their wares, but instead focused on process They left Pond Farm with knowledge and skills rather than things.

The interpretive placard reads:

Pond Farm Pottery

Pond Farm was the home and workshop of world-renowned ceramic artist Marguerite Wildenhain until her death in 1985 at 88. Arriving from Europe in 1942, she carved a retreat here, building a home and pottery works to make pots "in solitude in the wilderness of these California hills." For over 40 years, Pond Farm Pottery attracted artists, art lovers, and passers-by.

Each summer between 1949 and 1980, 25 students gathered here to learn from Wildenhain. This international mixture of students, from raw beginners to teachers themselves, thrived in the creative seclusion of Pond Farm.


"One of these days, in the not too distant future, that large pot of my life will be finished, and the last line will be put on it, dark, horizontal, and peaceful, but inevitable."


"To make my pot the very best way I could, at all times, became the motto of my life."


" to make that piece of clay reflect all you have felt, how to convey to others what you visualized in your mind without losing the original flame of vision - all this most inspiring search remains a mystery for me but by the grace of God, one does happen to succeed once in a while."


"The success of our pottery school seems to lie in the fact that we are trying above all else to develop honest and creative craftsmen, well-skilled in their profession and dedicated to their work..."

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