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Ellice T. Johnston (aka Ellice Tarbet)

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Ellice T. Johnston

American Ceramicist
American, (1916–1984)

Ellice Tarbet was born in Rexburg, Idaho and moved at age 15 to California with her two brothers and mother. Sheenrolled at the University of California Berkeley in 1934. In her senior year she married her husband Daniel Johnston, and graduated with a painting in 1938. Ellice Johnston enrolled at Chouinard Instituteof the Artsin 1950. Susan Peterson was hiredat Chouinard in 1952andbegan introducing the West Coast to high fire reduction ceramics. In 1955,she followed Peterson to the University of Southern California (USC) and steadily gained moreknowledgeon glazing and firing. Peterson introduced Tarbet to the talented sculptor/potter Dora de Larios(see Dora’sFigureandAnimals of the Sun), and they becamelife-long friend.De Larios said of Tarbet, “The work she produced was full of humor and charm,” and this figure certainly illustrates these qualities. Ellicewas instrumental in founding two important west coast ceramic organizations. The first, Irving Place Studioin Los Angeles, with Dora De Larios in 1961. Then in 1974, two years after she moved toAshland, Oregon she was instrumental in founding Clayfolk, an organization serving clay workers in northern California and southern Oregon.

Artist Objects

Plate 1984.923

Untitled 1984.897

Untitled 1984.1046

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