An open art space with a focus on clay

Our pets

Charlie, the long hair main coon cat, napping in bisque pot 2007

Charlie - the Studio cat

Charlie was our studio cat from 2001 to 2017. He loved to try out new pots. He liked the large bowls best.

Toby - the watch-cat

Toby - second studio cat

Toby came to the studio in 2007. He loves to run, jump, hop and bounce off the posts. You may find him climbing up the beams or window wells.

Zoe head out car window

Zoe came to us in Oct, 2008. She was rescued from the streets of Pittsburgh by one of our students. Like most dogs, she loves to hang her head out the car window and let the wind blow in her face.

Newest member (March, 2011) of the Windblown pet family is Molly. Molly comes from a family of 12 puppys in Virginia She is 1/2 Black Lab and 1/2 German Shepard. She is 5 weeks old in this photo.

Windblown Studio - The people

Rita Nichols and Fred Wilbur are partners in both Windblown Studio and marriage.

Rita making end table

"When I was five, my mother gave me some modeling clay and I was hooked. Clay has always appealed to my tactile sense and stimulated my creativity. The idea that I can squeeze and squish a hunk of the earth into any old form at all and then fire it to turn it to stone still amazes me."

Rita Nichols has been an artist and potter for over 30 years and has studied at universities and art institutes in California, Indiana, New Hampshire, Colorado and Pennsylvania. She holds a B. S. degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

As a freelance artist she has worked in various mediums: oils, pastels, photography, lithography, woodcut, stone sculpture and clay. As a scientific illustrator and graphic artist, she felt that working with clay was an antidote to the strict and meticulous methodology of commercial art. Finally, clay has become more than her personal medium. It is her main focus and gives her the satisfaction and freedom of expression that had always been, for her, the essential appeal of clay.

"I love making a dish that I can bake in or eat out of. I hope that by sharing my pots with other people I can encourage them to recognize the connection we all have with the earth."

Rita Nichols - artist and potter

Fred - old high-tech picture 2001"When I was five, my mother probably spanked me for playing in mud, so instead I went to work developing Software."

Fred worked in the technology industry for over 30 years. He really wanted to be a teacher, but never finished his BS degree until the age that most teachers retire. Always searching for ways to scratch his creative itch and finding himself on the outside of high-tech, he decided to learn to throw. He now uses clay to satisfy his passion to teach, to help others, and to be creative.

His goal is to keep his novice status so he can relate to beginning potters, but become good enough to use clay as a medium for his creative urges. If, along the way, he gives away some pottery to family and friends, makes the perfect coffee mug, and has fun, that's ok too.

If pushed to be perfectly honest, he would also like to sell some pots to put food or wine on the table and help pay for the studio.

Oh, one thing he did learn. There is no such thing as a 'perfect' coffee mug,

Fred Wilbur

This site was built and created by Fred Wilbur. Contact him at







This site was built and created by Fred Wilbur. Contact him at