I have been very fortunate to meet some really amazing women since I moved to Chapel Hill. I met most all of them through pottery which is also amazing I think. There seems to be a theme with my friends. We eat, we drink, we talk about our work and our families. I meet my friend Charlotte about once a month for coffee at the Bean and Barrel, we talk about our work and our families for about three hours and then one of us gets a call from a kid or a husband and we have to go. I meet my friend Deb Harris at Mint on Franklin St., we have a great Indian lunch, talk about work and kids(our daughters were in the same classes) and Deb usually offers me some wonderful advise about something. I took classes from her for years and she has been such a great influence, she is also responsible for me applying to the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild. This month, I met my pal Susan Wells for dinner and beer at Weaver St. and again we talked about our work and our families, (she has a son adventuring in India right now).I just spent four days in Beaufort with my good friend Barbara McKenzie. I took classes with Barbara and probably would not be able to hand build or Raku if I had not met her. Barbara makes work that is exquisitely crafted and strongly influenced by Japanese potters, her shinos are to die for. I also like to check in with my friend Laura Farrow at her studio for inspiration like you can get from no one else. We will meet for coffee on Saturday mornings or sometimes she comes over here. I met Laura on the Orange County studio tour when I first moved here and have been in awe of her work ever since. What a talented artist she is. She sets the bar pretty high! Yesterday, I met my very good friends and mentors Barbara and Laura for lunch and then we went to the Starlight Mead place in Pittsboro to sample the mead. I was too busy drinking( I know I'm supposed to be giving up alcohol!) to pay enough attention to the very kind woman that was telling us more than we ever knew existed about mead, she is a wealth of information on the subject, but I was getting a very quick buzz and my short attention span kicked in pretty fast, so if you want to know about mead, look it up. It's pretty good though, and a fun thing to do. In fact there are lots of fun things to do in Pittsboro, I had no idea. We visited a few of the galleries, saw some really good art, some not so good, we discovered a Steampunk gallery/coffee shop that was very cool. Must go back there for coffee sometime. I also discovered that the Woodwright Shop is located on the corner of the main street through town. You know, the guy on PBS that is in a perpetual happy mood? There was a class in session as we walked by, who knew? I really have to get out in Pittsboro more. All of this is happening less than ten miles from my house!
Well, back to my friends. I am also blessed to have all of you blogger friends that invite me into your homes to stay and you feed me, Hollis, Meredith, Michael Kline. Gay, Cindy, Trish, you have sent me wonderful things like great books, moose hair, studio sign, gloves, etc., lurker blogger Bruce, who sent the Washington Post clip for Gerry, thanks! I know I am leaving out some folks, but it's early and I had a lot of mead yesterday, let me know if I have missed you, please!
My point in all of this is that you can't just stay stuck in your studios and work. You have to get out and see the world, hopefully with people that inspire you. For less than $10, you can get a cup of coffee or some nice chai and have a great conversation with someone that is likely to inspire or encourage you. I would not have been accepted into the CDCG if Deb had not encouraged me at lunch one day, I wouldn't have known there were galleries right down the street from me if we had not gone out yesterday and walked around. I learn something from these great artists every time I get together with them. It is not wasting valuable studio time, it is learning and growing and feeding my soul. It's also fun if good food and beverage is included! So, today I will raise a glass of MEAD to all of you and wish for you great happiness and success in all that you do! You are great friends and I am happy to have you all in my life, xoxoxo!