Shari Bartish

“The pottery wheel has been my therapist, as I transition from what I thought my life should be into what my life will be. I’ve learned to push a little harder and I’ve learned to let go.”

Shari Bartish


From the moment Shari Bartish stuck her hands in the mud for the first time at a Smoky Mountain pottery studio in Gatlinburg, Tenn., she was hooked on creating functional art with a potter’s wheel.

Ten years later, Shari now operates her own Dragonfly Pottery studio in the historic town of Metamora, Ind., and says she’s learned a few life lessons along the way.

“Pottery became my therapy … and my answer,” she says.

In learning when to push harder and when to let go, Shari says she’s discovered pottery and life share a few things in common. Here are 5 things pottery making has taught her about life:

  1. Find your center. Everything begins with centering. It doesn’t matter how much effort you put into something, if it’s not centered, it will never be balanced.
  2. Life is a process. Pottery is a process. There are lessons that must be learned. You can’t create a beautiful piece of pottery without first getting dirty and making lots of mistakes. Learn to worry less about the destination, and enjoy the journey.
  3. There is beauty in imperfection. Pottery is a work of heart, and a handmade piece just feels warmer and more comforting than anything mass produced — even when it’s not perfect. Or perhaps BECAUSE it’s not perfect.
  4. Stuff happens — know when to let it go. Like life, there are some mistakes in pottery that with enough patience can be fixed. There are days when everything is golden, and there are days when nothing works out … you just let it go and start again tomorrow.
  5. Like clay, your life is yours to shape. It may not always go as planned, but you might just end up with something beautiful.

Shari Bartish Calendar


Date / Time


No events found for this artisan.
No workshops found for this artisan.