It Must Be Something In The Acorns…

I’m writing this post from Des Moines today because this last weekend was my Michigan show’s closing reception and my first workshop. Before I get into that I would just like to mention that I’m a bit put out by a recent discovery that occurred while there. Not only was this my first workshop but it was also my first visit to Michigan (and it’s much closer to Louisville than I thought). It’s these black squirrels which I believe are really gray squirrels except that they’re black… see what I mean, that sounds ridiculous. I’m 54 years old and I’ve never heard of the the black gray squirrel. I couldn’t get my own picture because the ones around the art building at Olivet College seemed much more skittish than our very own Louisville gray gray squirrels. Someone at the show told me that there were spotted ones too that were black with white spots but I’m not sure if they were pulling my leg or not. Anyway here’s a pic I found online…

I just didn’t want to find out this way… someone could’ve told me. Anyway, onto the workshop. There was this little girl that was really interested in learning to throw…

Oh, sorry that’s something else… I’ll come back to that later. I have to say that my being nervous about this whole workshop demonstration thing is a bit of an understatement as I’ve never throw with anyone watching me before except Sofia. So before anyone even arrived we were setting up the wheel and it’s a Brent. And I have a Sh1mpo Wh1sper. One of the main features of the Whisper is that when you push the pedal to the “off” position the wheelhead stops instantly and then it moves freely in either direction just like a banding wheel. I’ve grown accustomed to this feature and I don’t consciously think about its use. The Brent, however, is different… when you push the pedal to the “off” position, the wheel head seems to coast to a stop but the deceiving thing about it is that it is still engaged with the motor. So the first thing I do is push on the pedal to see if it’s on and I back off the pedal and grab the wheel head with my right hand (just like I always instinctively do with the Whisper). Of course the wheel head doesn’t stop and the underside of it tears the skin off of my right pinkie finger<– redundant, I know. An inauspicious beginning I know. The next thing I know I'm wedging clay and bleeding on the canvas wedging board. But for all my internal anxiety, things went relatively smoothly from then on and the mission was eventually accomplished. Here's some pics that a young woman named Stephanie took with my camera…

I didn’t realize it when this shot was taken but everyone seems rapt with attention except the infant. Apparently he was much more interested in the woman on the far right’s hand bag. I mean jeeez! Here’s some more pics…

Another awful revelation is that the back of my head looks like a skunk’s ass or as they say in the south, a polecat’s hiney. In addition to the throwing I took a few sets of green beer glasses that somewhat illustrate the steps of the decorative process.

Later that night was the closing reception and a couple I know from undergraduate school showed up. I hadn’t seen either of them since 1985. Regular readers may recognize him from this picture…

That’s my friend Randy on the left. His wife Liz was at the reception also and it should be noted that in the above picture both Randy and me are wearing Liz’s dresses. Anyway here’s a picture of us at the event…

It’s clear from the picture that the years gone by have definitely made us both a little blurry. So, the work was very well received and sales were brisk. My hosts, Thia and Gary were extremely generous with their time and effort and we had a great time socializing both evenings that I was there. Earlier when I realized that the show was relatively close to Schaller Gallery, a gallery that I’ve been wanting to be a part of, I invited Anthony (Mr. Schaller) to come to the reception and maybe take some pots back with him. He and Michelle did attend and on Sunday they did load up some pots to take back to St. Joe. It was very nice meeting them also and hanging out for a bit. If you get a hankerin’, check out the Schaller Gallery website, it is a beautiful and very clean site. Here’s my page…

Last but not least, here’s what I missed by coming on the trip (and am still missing) and the expression on her face pretty much sums up her feelings about me leaving for a week…

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5 Responses to “It Must Be Something In The Acorns…”

  1. ronpots2 Says:

    Glad the workshop went well Jim. That sucks about your finger and the wheel. We get so used to our own set up. It’s nearly impossible to make our best pots when we go out on the road and use different materials and equipment. Love seeing that pic again, nothing like the days of our youth. I do miss wearing a dress now and again. Have a great day.
    PS Pots in the Schaller website look super fab

  2. ang Says:

    jim totally a crack up!!!! glad you got your demo on despite the skunk hair!!!!:P

  3. kyle Says:

    good to catch up with you again….glad the show and workshop went well…good to also see your work on the Schaller site…and bleeding during the workshop/demo only makes you look like a tough guy…which helps in case the back of your head looks like a skunk’s ass.

  4. meredith@whynot Says:

    I can not figure out why you two did not go for a dress up?
    My brother wore a dress of mine to a Halloween party 35 years ago. I hated that he had better legs than I did.
    Great pots, babies are like that and about that skunk…

  5. M@ Says:

    It seems I never get tired of the Pabst Blue Ribbon picture. I only wish the whole trio could have been present for the reunion. But as Randy would often be heard to say, “it’s all part and parcel of that rich tapestry we so affectionately refer to as ‘the whole enchilada.'”

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