About us

Magpie3x3 is the lifelong dream of Rebekah Hensel. She is supported by her husband and co-owner Joseph Hensel. They opened the doors of the Frankfort Avenue gallery and studio with a reception in late February, 2018.

The gallery is bejeweled with works from many very talented local ceramic artists, including Suzanne Sidebottom and Wayne Ferguson. The gallery will begin hosting a regular exhibition schedule in the summer of 2018.

The studio offers ceramic instruction. Those interested in trying it out are invited to a clay date where they will experience using the pottery wheel. Further instruction in the whole life-cycle of ceramics, from soft clay to a finished glazed piece is developed in our 6-week classes for adults and children. Kids are invited to an immersive experience at a themed summer camp. Beginners are welcome to all clay dates, classes and camps.

Experienced clay people are invited to become studio members. Members receive access to the studio and equipment for independent work during our open hours.

Rebekah Hensel, co-owner

Rebekah began learning ceramics at a very young age. Her mother, Sally Shope, was an artist and encouraged Rebekah and her siblings in art and craft past-times. Rebekah's early memories include sculpting with a heavily salted bread dough and marveling at her mother's detailed dough wreaths that were made in the autumn. Her interest in sculpting and clay grew. She was gifted with a toy potter's wheel as a child, and still has a one of her own very early pieces of pottery. 

Rebekah had developed a fascination with clay, and carried into her middle school ceramics class a distinct vision of a challenging piece that she was compelled to make. Finding the medium difficult, her first several attempts in middle and high school ceramics classes were unsuccessful but in the attempts, she continued to build skill and interest in the medium.

Rebekah was also fascinated by archaeology and anthropology. Her father was a collector of Native American artifacts. She spent untold hours with him, walking freshly plowed farmlands and banks of the Ohio River and neighboring creeks in southern Indiana in search of arrowheads, spear points and other relics. In this pursuit, she found many pot shards. Her interest in ancient pottery and technologies grew perhaps faster than her artifact collection!

Following high school she entered the general studies program at Indiana University Southeast (IUS), with the intention of transferring to IU Bloomington to pursue a degree in archaeology. She was not yet confident in her talent in art and did not consider pursuing an art degree for this reason. It was her interest in ceramics that encouraged her to take the prerequisite introductory art classes at IUS that stood between her and ceramics.

She doesn't recall making the decision not to transfer to IU Bloomington. Once she walked into that first ceramics class, she never looked back. Under the excellent instruction of John Guenther, professor of ceramics, she developed a full compliment of skills in ceramics: sculpture, functional pottery, glaze formulation, reduction kiln firing, kiln building, American raku and more. She became a fixture in the studio during this time and became a mentor to her peers. Nearly five years after that first introductory art class, she was awarded her BA in Fine Arts, concentrating in ceramics and art history. 

Alas, life took her in many unforeseen directions. In the years after she received her BA at IUS, she found herself in need of earning a living to assist her parents who had become disabled. She worked her way into computer programming, where she stayed for nearly 20 years having many experiences along the way, such as living abroad, building a family, morning the death of her beloved mother. and wishing that she could spend more time in her garage studio.

After a few false-starts at pursuing her dream owning and running a studio and gallery, she found the time was finally right for her to go all-in. Boosted by a moment of realization that her life in programming would only ever be mediocre, and supported by her husband and daughter, she is happily returning home to the clay studio.

Kylee Mitchell, Summer Camp Instructor

Kylee is a developing artist working and living in Louisville, Kentucky. She is a senior at Bellarmine University double majoring in Art Education and Art (Sculpture and Extended Media). Kylee was awarded Best in Show for her piece “Back to Our Roots” and Most Outside the Box for her “Hanging Planters” for the 2018 Bellarmine University Annual Student Art Show. In the previous year, she was awarded Best 3D piece for her “Ceramic Color Wheel” in the Bellarmine University Student Art Show.

Kylee has traveled to many different countries and volunteered on mission trips. As a student at Assumption High School, Kylee spent a week in Managua Nicaragua building a house for a local family. She remembers visiting local pottery studios and being fascinated by the cross-culture similarities and differences of art making. Drawing inspiration from the scenery in Nicaragua, she enjoys creating environmental earthen works. As a junior at Bellarmine, she spent a month traveling and studying education in South Africa. Here, she made connections with local artists, strengthening her interest in human interaction and different cultures.

Kylee will spend her fall semester student teaching half of the time at JCPS and the remaining time on a Native American Reservation in South Dakota. While doing this, she will continue to coach field hockey at Assumption High School and IFHCK (International Field Hockey Club Kentucky).

Upon graduation, Kylee plans to continue to coach, create ceramic and sculptural work, teach, and eventually continue her education further to receive an MFA (Master of Fine Arts).