All kids fairy tales start with “once upon a time” and as you grow older they begin “a man walks into a bar”. A friend Sandra Upfield sent me some pics shot thru the glass at the Art Gallery of Burlington of a show I am in entitled “Setting Ontario’s Table- Once Upon a Time. Once upon a time is such an appropriate title as it seems a life time ago that I I made the work in the photo.
The colander dates back about 40 years ago and was made at Gleason Brook Pottery on the Bruce Peninsula that I shared with Gayle Fairchild. We had an Olsen fast fire wood kiln we fired twice a week, a 45 cubic foot Minnesota flat top gas kiln, two retail stores, a store manager and supplied shops in the province. If you think this sounds like a recipe for relationship disaster, you’re right!
The big jug was made 30+ years ago. I remember making those pots and including lots of aggregate in the clay. I tried bird seed, sunflower seeds, beach sand and blew up most of them. There was a gallery in Toronto called Ashton’s that bought them from me. It was the best gallery I ever saw in Toronto. Their down fall was they picked work that they liked and not what the market wanted. They left in the cover of darkness one night and let some potters hang out to dry. Lucky for me the work had been paid for and they donated it to the Art Gallery of Burlington.
The basket is 10 years old and is the work I made in my first year of graduate school at USU. This was just as Sour Cherry Pottery was winding down and I went off to school. I think this is a period when Sheila Franklin and I were really setting the table in Ontario. We fired our 2o cubic foot gas kiln 25 times a year and our wood fired train kiln 5 times a year. We produced all that work out of a 250 square foot workshop. Are you smelling another recipe for disaster???
So here I am today the sole proprietor of The Cactus Lounge. I have the gas kiln firing and a bisque as I get ready for two back to back wood firings this coming week. The weekend after the wood firings I have a show at Shane Norrie Contemporary and then the next weekend I do a workshop in Ottawa. That is my bus man’s holiday where I will go out with friends Jen, Chandler and Mike.
The greatest gift you can give might be the gift that you yourself were never given. Give that gift!