A beautiful day out at Historic Stagville yesterday. The Jubilee Music Festival was at Horton Grove, where the old slave quarters are located, and the barns and houses were such a nice setting for a music and arts festival. There was a bluegrass band, a jazz ensemble, an 82 year old blues man, and an African drumming group.My neighbors were soap makers and brick oven bread makers and they were the only ones there selling anything. I just love to watch people spend $10 on food and shove it in as fast as possible, then it's gone, but they declare they don't have any cash to buy a lovely piece of art that will last a lifetime. FARK! But isn't my tent in a great place!
There is Syd Luck from down in Seagrove doing pottery demos and selling a few pots, I bought a great salt fired crock from him. It's still packed up or I would show it to you.
The view was nice. I heard these comments: Oh, your work is wonderful, the barns are beautiful, these are really works of art, I wish I had some cash (oh wait, I just spent it all on food I shoved in my mouth), I love your work, do you have a card? I'm just looking, do you make pins? Is this clay? Oh, lord, I have got to find some other way to sell this stuff!!!!
This was the bluegrass family, and that little tiny girl was a pro! Amazing
Loved the shape of this house, check out the "feet", looks familiar
and here is my very good friend Braima, who was with the African drumming group. Braima survived the wars in Sierra Leone and is now starting a coffee company there to help rebuild his village. Check out the link. Braima and I have done several camps together. One year my kids made an African village and learned about the atrocities in Sierra Leone as Braima was the story teller. We dedicated the village to the people of Sierra Leone and it was a powerful learning experience for our kids.
So Braima and I talked about my pottery and the possibilities of taking me to his village to help the women there bring back the traditional pottery making that was lost during the war. Many of the potters were killed and the rebels cut off many limbs of the villagers. I have been reading a lot since I got home and the UN has designated Sierra Leone as the poorest country in the world. Braima and others are doing their best to help rebuild the communities and teach new skills to the people so that they can be a sustainable village.
We are going to get together next week and put together a grant through the International Labor Organization (ILO) and talk about putting together a workshop for about 36 women to get them started with the skills they would need to bring back pottery to the village. This seems so huge, and I don't know how,as one little person, I can do anything, but I truly feel called to do this.When I think about it seriously, I can't really breathe, and I don't know if I can really do it, but I'm thinking about the possibility... I would have to help them dig their clay and prepare it, I don't really know how to do this, teach them coil building techniques, I can do that, and then we would have to fire the pots using traditional pit fire techniques, I can do that. Ironically, I had checked out some books at the library a couple of weeks ago about African pottery making, and have been reading a lot about traditional methods. I'm going to try and make some work as close as possible to how it is done in primitive cultures and see how that goes. I don't know if I will really do this, but it could be an amazing opportunity. Would love to hear some opinions and get a reality check. What do you think?