Ron Hahlen . Dubuque, IA . Stoneware

 I've been a potter for over 40 years and I continue to draw inspiration from the rich sights, smells and sounds gathered from my years spent along the banks of the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River is measured into segments indicated by mile markers placed along the river. Lock and Dam 11 is marked by one such sign: number 583. Hence the name of my art and studio name - Art Design 583.


Traveling along highway 20 in the Manchester, Iowa, area, I would see stones stacked up by fence posts or on the edge of farm fields. The stones were brought here by the glaciers over millions of years ago. As I encounter the tumbled stones they require me to pass my hands over their surfaces to feel the forms and textures inside the masses and look at their contour lines.

This is the information I try to incorporate into my clay rock vessels. The stones become sources of information for ceramic vessel designs very much like seed, pod and shell forms offering similar information for solving the visual problem.


My process of pressing shapes and forms into the wet clay produce minor irregularities both deliberate and unintentional. They are left intact - symbols of life's imperfections.

 I am a member of Twenty Dirty Hands, an annual collaborative pottery tour. Currently, I am retired from 41 years of teaching art in the Dubuque Public School System.

Outside the Lines Art Gallery • Connie Twining & Stormy Mochal, Owners
1101 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001 • (563)-583-9343 • 101 S Main St, Galena, IL 61036
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