Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Got Pots?

The following is Part II of "The First Annual Pot Party," the nickname I gave to my Asheville Potter Son Josh's recent Hometown Pottery Show, which was held at my house this past weekend.

1. We awoke to what sounded like a war zone. What I first thought was Josh stomping around in one of the upstairs bedrooms was really ice falling off in chunks from the pitched roof of our log cabin. After being slammed with wind and showered with sleet the night before, the sight of the morning sun brought a sense of relief, but the sudden warming it created also caused an avalanche of melting ice.

2. Coffee brewed, tea was poured, fried eggs sizzled in the skillet. Joe pulled up a chair and ate his breakfast while watching the twenty minute slide show of Frank Bott's photographs, dramatic images of the Clay Space Gallery and the recent firing in the noborigama kiln Josh built this past summer. We all had a snow day mentality. Fulfilled from the previous day's events, we were ready to welcome any new pottery show guests but weren't really expecting any.

3. But the sun shone a new day, and all was not lost by the Pottery Show announcement not getting into the Floyd Press. The announcement did appear in the December issue of the Museletter and some who had read about it there came out to see Josh's new work. Our first visitor of the day, a family friend named Paul, held up his new pasta platter like he had just won a final match at Wimbledon.

4. "I don't know a single one of them," I announced as I looked out the window and watched a group of three walk towards the house from the drive-way. They turned out to be some new Floyd residents who used to live in Asheville. Two of them knew Josh from Warren Wilson College. While they all had an enthusiastic visit, talking pottery and kiln construction, I wandered around the house getting to know the new pots better, handling them, gazing at them, and taking photographs like a portrait photographer takes pictures of people.

5. Museletter readers, Rosemary and Walter hadn't seen a trace of the balloons I tied to a tree out on the Parkway to help visitors find our driveway. Had the wind untied them? Maybe the sleet ripped them to shreds. Rosemary, whose sister is a potter interested in wild clay, leafed through the article Josh wrote for Studio Potter about his wild clay excavation from a North Carolina farmer's tobacco field.

6. Sunday's attendance was lighter than Saturdays, but like Saturday, every visit was fun filled and rich with meaningful conversation. By evening, the living room glowed as if it was enchanted. Shiny pots and foil wrapped presents under the tree caught the reflection of the string of Christmas lights in the window.

7. Every pot had been made from the wild clay and then wood fired in the new kiln. Each one had its own personality. In groups, they formed families that looked like they belonged together. I still hadn't picked out my own Christmas pot. Which would stand alone? Which was ready for a new home? I kept moving them around to see how they looked in different settings.

8. The next day while Josh was packing up to head back to Asheville, I walked out to the road to investigate the missing balloons. The wind had not untied them. They still hung, deflated and sliced. I imagined how they sounded when they popped from Saturday's gusty wind and icy onslaught. They never had a chance.

Originally posted on Loose Leaf Notes on December 18, 2007.

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