Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Friends

So, you guys, this has been a really strange week for me. Fun, but strange. Alex Matisse left a note on my blog to come out and help at Mark Hewitt's this week if I wanted to. This was my first week in a long time that I had nothing planned and I was going to stay home and throw pots all week. Well, that didn't happen. I went out to Mark's and had a big 'ol time sanding and washing fabulous pottery and helping Carol set up the barn. I brought Wesley out after school and put her to work as well.We had great weather until around 5pm then it got really cold really quick. Here are Alex and Zuma in front of the kiln. I am so happy to have met them both and I think Alex is on to great things with his life. I first met Alex through his blog entry "Midnight shift" and was deeply touched by his writing. After reading that entry, I thought that I would like to meet him one day and now this week we worked together at Mark's. I have been going to Mark's kiln openings since we moved here four years ago and never dreamed I would be out there helping set up for an opening. So odd how things happen sometimes. I brought home a bunch of pots that I will show you later. I may sneak out there one day and bring that dog home as well!
The other great thing about my week is that on Wednesday I finished up my residency at the Montessori School in Pittsboro with a barrel firing. Julie, the teacher there is a wonderful new friend and the school is so lucky to have her. The firing was a great success!
My youngest new friend, Mary. This kid melted my heart with her smile!Here are Mark and Alex doing a little sanding. What I liked about Mark is that he is doing the same things we are all doing and seems very happy to be doing so. I also liked the smile he would get on his face at seeing a particularly great pot. Even after 75 firings with this kiln, he is still obviously getting great pleasure from it. Also a very kind and humble person. It was a pleasure to spend the week at his place. Wesley and I felt so welcome and Mark and Carol were incredibly gracious to us.
Alex and Eryn helping Mark with pricing. yes it is cold!
It was also great spending time with Joseph Sand and Eryn Prospero. You can see more of them on Alex's blog. I have pots from both of them as well. Very talented potters! and really really nice people!
This is Mark's mailman whom we had a very odd conversation with and he just added to the surrealism of the week. He drives in the passenger seat with his left foot and left hand doing the driving. Interesting character to say the least.
Ok, this is a bit pitiful, but we were tired tonight and the best we could do for dinner was opening a can of Campbell's Bean and Bacon soup and some zesta saltine crackers. Also, a cup of two buck chuck cabernet from Trader Joes. It was, however served in the finest pottery to be had around here: left to right- soup bowl by Eryn P. , wine cup by Joseph S. , and soup bowl by Alex M. The best part of this week was working for cash or trade. Obviously, I went for the pots. I promised Carol I wouldn't post any photos of the new pots until after the opening, so I'll show you some pots later. I can't show you any pictures of Carol because she was always around the new pots, but she is a lovely woman. That's all for tonight, I'm tired. Alex, if you want to, send me your email address and we can plan a time after the opening for us to buy you a beer and some dinner. You and Gerry can compare fly fishing stories! Thanks for asking me out to Mark's. Wesley and I had a great time!!


Unknown said...

great post.

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks Jeff! I really enjoyed seeing your mug up close at Laura's. Definitely need to get me one of those. She said she thought she got it at the Eno River festival. Are you going to be at Spring Shakori?

Alex Matisse said...

Again...I cant say enough how much we appreciated the help and how nice it was to get to hang out a little bit although it was very much a work thing as opposed to a casual hang out. Things can get a little stressful over here as Im sure you found out. Enjoy the pots you got! Come back and visit us. my email is Take care....

Togeika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Togeika said...


I do daily email google searches and one is on Shoji Hamada and your blog popped up because of the wonderful Hamada quote you use in your header. Thanks! Also, thanks for the images of the pots. They are nice. In gratitude, I share a photo my wife sent me from Japan. My Sensei, Tatsuzo Shimaoka passed away last year and one of his galleries hosted a memorial show in Mashiko during the fall pottery festival. My wife Jean is still there finishing up her teaching contract. She photographed the pot at the below link:

Shimaoka recieved permission to apprentice with Shoji Hamada after finishing his technical degree in ceramics, but Shimaoka was drafted into the Japanese Army before he could begin. He was shipped to Burma, and took the Shino tea ceremony bowl in this photo with him. Miraculously, young Shimaoka and the bowl
survived Burma and returned back to Japan to apprentice with Shimaoka.

Thanks again,
Lee in Minneapolis

Tracey Broome said...

Lee, this is a great story and thanks for sharing the photo. What a great tea bowl!

Togeika said...

Welcome Tracy!,

I went to Taeko Tanaka's show. She has a nice collection of pots. You can see some there:

doug Fitch said...

I'm sure I met Joseph when he was over here at Clive Bowen's, would that be right? MH's looks like a wonderful place to be. Lovely story that Lee tells here.