Friday, January 15, 2010

The Night Life

“Always we are eating and drinking earth’s body, making her dishes.” ~ Potter and poet, M.C. Richards.

Between the bullfrogs and the snake handling church service being held just above Josh’s pottery kiln site, Saturday night in the Walnut part of Marshall, North Carolina, was pretty lively. The sound of hammers banging, electric saws singing, and the big bass hum of the generator filled in the mix as the kiln shed roof was being framed. Gabe, who was perched high on a beam rafter, occasionally broke out in building commands, or a song.

Josh’s girlfriend Anna arrived from a gig where her band was paid in beer, so there was beer for supper that night. I’ve heard that her fiddle playing is impressive. So is her skill with an electric saw. I held the flashlight for her when it got dark to see without it. In between the whine of her saw someone who sounded like Bob Dylan sang from a nearby IPOD.

Looking more like an ancient Mayan compound at night, with a spotlight emanating from the center, the construction site took on an eerie glow that felt primal and monumental. From the first shovel of clay dug from Neil Woody’s tobacco field, to the Windgate Fellowship award Josh won for his work with wild clay, followed by the Wild Clay Exhibit and his Building Community BFA Thesis show, each were steps that lead to this roof raising night. I thought about the future wood firings that would take place here and the area potters they would bring together. What would the clay vessels created here hold? Where would they end up, I wondered?

What’s the name of the kiln going to be?” I asked Josh as the night and the frame of the roof grew pitch.

“The Community Temple,” he answered.

Soon there will be two kinds of services going on in the neighborhood.

"Potters like sun and stars perform their art--- Endowed with myth, they make the meal holy." ~ M.C. Richards

Originally posted on on June 5, 2007.

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