Since her days as an art major in college, Palestine resident Myrna Ives has had a love for molding and creating with clay. And after a lengthy hiatus she calls “life” Ives has returned to the art and now loves nothing more than sharing her pieces with the world.

“While I was studying at Texas College, I tried several different artistic mediums,” she said. “I enjoyed working with clay more than anything.

“Now I take classes at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens twice a week as an adult continuing education student,” she said. “I have no studio at home, so that is where I do my work.”

Instead of the traditional potter’s wheel, Ives said she enjoys molding the clay planters, vases and masks by hand — adding carvings and textures to each individual piece.

“I have used everything from towels to burlap sacks to add texture to the piece, she said. “In class, they call me ‘the texture queen.’”

Ives said that no two pieces are alike — some of them have even come to her in her sleep.

“I love coming up with new ideas — I always do something different,” she said. “I even dream about certain pieces, then I go to school and try to make them.”

Her artwork is available for purchase at downtown Palestine’s Old Magnolia Mercantile, where she and two friends — Nita Johnson and Elizabeth Jones — have a booth together. They call themselves “Three Wild Women.”

“We just opened the booth about a month ago and have already purchased more space to expand,” she said. “I try to keep the prices on my items low — they cost much less than a piece sold at a gallery.”

Ives, a New York native who has lived in Palestine since 1983, currently serves as office manager of her late husband’s surveying business and works part time at JCPenney.

“I love Palestine,” she said. “I don’t like big cities anymore.”

In addition to working with clay, Ives also enjoys dressing up in costume and participating in the Victorian Christmas Train and Murder on the DisOriented Express® events. She also knits scarves that are available for sale in her booth.

“I have always loved art and I feel like I have found my calling in working with clay, she said. “Each design is unique and one-of-a-kind — I have never run out of ideas.”

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Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at mrainwater@palestineherald.com

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