The Bow Studio and Gallery in Abilene, Kansas has been operated by a delightful couple since the 1970s. Inga is originally from Austria, is charming and has a delightful accent, while Bob is down-to-earth and quick to laugh. I enjoyed talking to them as much as photographing the studio and gallery.
Bob and Inga Bow produce decorative handmade tiles, sculpture, and other art work including handmade paper, collage, pastel, water color and oil paintings. They met and were married in Florida and came to Kansas when Bob was transferred to Fort Riley. They stayed in Kansas, established the Bow Studio and Gallery in 1973 and moved to their present location in 1976.
Inga and Bob use local Kansas clays from Ellsworth and Cloud counties in north central Kansas. The clay is dug from the hills of the Dakota formation. The clay deposits contain many fossils of leaves and plants.
Bob makes turtles almost exclusively, but Inga Bow produces a wide variety of work. I think my favorites are her leaf dishes, which are produced using real leaves.
Before leaving, you may wish to check out the junk art which Bob Bow has collected in the yard. These are all found metal objects, unmodified from the way they were naturally created.
The Bow Studio and Gallery is open 7 days a week, but may be closed if they are traveling, so be sure to call (785) 263-7166 and confirm that they are open.
L-4/10 copyright 2008-2010 by Keith Stokes