Reunion 2011: A ‘Bazaar’ Connection

April 6, 2011

The artistic works of a Mary Baldwin alumna and her former teacher will be among the original creations showcased at the inaugural Alumnae/i Bazaar from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday when Hunt Dining Hall will be transformed into a boutique featuring the wares of at least 10 entrepreneurial alums.

To promote their business ventures, Mary Baldwin grads will sell antiques, jewelry, pottery, hair accessories, punch bowls, and more. The event is free and open to the public.

Susan Myers ’72 — who is a mastermind behind both the bazaar and a Reunion punch crawl Friday night in downtown Staunton — will promote her alma mater and her punch-bowl business, Bowls of Art, at the bazaar. Two Mary Baldwin-inspired bowls, one created by Nancy Ross, adjunct art instructor, and the other by Aubrey de Cheubell ’09, will be among the items for sale.

The student-teacher connection was a nice surprise, Ross said, as she didn’t know until after she had agreed to create a punch bowl for the bazaar that de Cheubell — one of the most exciting students with whom she had worked — was creating another.

Aubrey de Cheubell's bowl

“She had a strong sense of self, pushed her craftsmanship, and had a strong work ethic,” Ross said of de Cheubell. “Our mentor/student relationship continues via email as we share our current projects and reactions to the ceramic arts.”

De Cheubell, who earned a prestigious Capstone award while a student at Mary Baldwin, is now creating ceramic art in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She described the punch bowl she created for the bazaar as “traditional,” inspired by antique bowl forms and the architecture on the Mary Baldwin campus.

“I hand carved the college seal on the inside of the bowl,” de Cheubell said. “The cups are all little tulip blossoms to correspond to the spring landscaping that accents the architecture of Mary Baldwin — plus they add a little bit of whimsy.”

Nancy Ross' bowl

Ross, who has taught at Mary Baldwin since 2002 and is the sole faculty member in ceramics, began work on her punch bowl by throwing the bowl on the potter’s wheel using warm brown stoneware clay.

“The inspiration comes from the Mary Baldwin mascot, the fighting squirrel, and the abundant acorns which tantalize the campus squirrels all fall,” Ross said. “The bowl, glazed in a warm green, sits on a removable pedestal which is surrounded by hand-sculpted squirrels and acorns. Punch is served with a ladle that has an oak branch handle made from clay.”

Organizers hope the bazaar will become a coveted Reunion tradition.

“Mary Baldwin alumnae have a sisterhood like no other college. To come together to celebrate our school, our friendships, and the classes is a special event,” said Jennifer Saval ’99, a jewelry stylist who will also participate in the bazaar. “And it’s always fun to shop with girlfriends.”