We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


“Takoma” may be a Native American word meaning “close to heaven,” but in the Washington area it connotes creativity and craft. Artists have been flocking to Takoma Park and the adjoining neighborhood just over the District line for decades. One such artist is Maija Hay. She came to the United States from Finland in the late 1950s and eventually settled into a typical Takoma house—a light-filled Victorian, built in 1883 for a senator. Hay, who drifted into pottery by accident by agreeing to help fill up a friend’s pottery class, runs the Takoma Arts Pottery studio and maintains a booth in Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory. Hay says, “I like creating objects that are both useful and beautiful.” Sabra Olson and Judy Folkenberg have a similar aesthetic: they weave baskets from grapevine, wisteria, and driftwood. (One of Olson’s baskets is pictured.) Folkenberg also uses similar natural materials—including leaves and pieces of wasps’ nests—to decorate handmade journals, albums, and scrapbooks. Olsen and Folkenberg have been a part of Hay’s yearly Takoma Arts Pottery Christmas Show for the past 10 years. The show, now in its 27th year, draws an appreciative crowd, including many returning customers. Get your holiday shopping done early—drop by Hay’s house from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 517 Cedar St. NW. Free. (202) 882-2910. (Pamela Murray Winters)