About Bow Studio and Gallery

Bow Studio and Gallery was established in Abilene, Kansas in 1973, by Bob and Inga Bow, and was moved to its present location in 1976. Bob and Inga produce decorative handmade tiles, sculpture, and other art work in various media including handmade paper, collage, pastel, water color and oil paintings.
Visitors are welcome anytime we are in the studio, which is most everyday of the year from 10am to 7pm...other times by appointment.  Occasionally we close, so to make sure we are open, call: 785-263-7166 or e-mail us: bowstudio@bowsart.com.


Inga Bow, was born in Graz, Austria, came to the US in the 1950s, worked in the fashion industry in New York City, Miami, and San Juan after studying design and pattern making at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She studied handbuilt pottery with Juanita May at the Ceramic League of Miami in south Florida from 1968 to 1972. Inga has developed her own personal recognizable style in her sculpture and tile making. She specializes in tiles and sculpture usually with flower and plant motifs. Fresh flowers are pressed into the soft clay in the tile making process to make impressions and then as stencils for the application of glazes. Metal oxides are used for color, the tile is fired to 2100 degrees F. A clear glaze is then applied and the tile is fired at least one more time depending on desired effect. Around the studio we have a large garden of wild and domestic plants many of which find their way into Inga's work.


Bob Bow, a native of Homestead, Florida, grew up with a family interest in horticulture. His great grand parents homesteaded in south Florida around the turn of the 20th century, establishing Palm Lodge Tropical Grove, a collection of plants and trees from around the world. Experimentation by these early Florida settlers has grown into what is today a large part of the agricultural economy of south Florida. Bob is a graduate of Florida State University having studied Spanish language and literature at the University of Madrid, Spain. He worked at Palm Lodge until he was drafted into the army in 1971. On leaving the army after two years stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, Bob and Inga decided to remain in Kansas.We moved to Kansas in 1973, to enjoy the wide open spaces, the wide vistas and incredible sunsets of the prairie.


Another draw to Kansas is the availability of good clays for making ceramic products. We use local clays from Ellsworth and Cloud counties in north central Kansas in our work. The clay is dug from the side of hills and geologically speaking, it is part of the Dakota formation, scientifically dating back some 96 million years. The deposits contain many fossils of leaves and plants. The clay itself is an aluminum mineral, aluminum silicate. When heated high enough(fired) it becomes hard, somewhat glass like, making it durable as found in tiles, pottery, and sculpture.