by: COURTESY PHOTO: BARBARA HERTEL  - Hertels guardian spirit people are some of her most popular sellers and have ended up all over the world.More than 200 ceramic artists from Oregon and southwest Washington will gather in Portland this weekend, including longtime Oregon Potters Association (OPA) member Barbara Hertel.

Hertel has been a member since 1989 and now, even “semi-retired,” she works on her pottery every day. “I love to go to work,” said Hertel, who works out of her home studio in Forest Grove.

Hertel will have about 400 pieces displayed at the OPA’s annual Ceramic showcase this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Portland.

“I love getting together with other potters,” Hertel said. “There’s a lot of love and support.”

People are always curious about her unique style, said Hertel, who focuses on the Raku style that uses a three step firing process.

This year’s showcase theme is “Create Locally, Inspire Globally,” which is perfect for Hertel, who is fascinated by how potters are influenced by other cultures.

Hertel has sent pieces of her pottery all around the world, from Europe to India to Japan. When a friend of Hertel’s went to Turkey, she sent one of her pieces, which ended up in the hands of a Turkish potter. He ended up sending one back to Hertel.

“It’s a beautiful feeling to work here and know your pieces are touching people all over the world,” Hertel said.

The show is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

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