A Watershed

My, do I ever have a lot to catch you all up on! The ongoings up here for me have been non-stop since my last post and many apologies for the extended delay. I am certainly going to get back on the blog train from here on out.

Last time I wrote (or blogged, if you will), I was working towards a second kiln load of work for a very close show deadline. Folks, it was down to minutes. The kiln cooled, was unloaded with some new gems, pieces cleaned up & placed on display within 40 minutes of the gallery reception start time. There were a few losses to the same problem this kiln load, but certainly not as many and not as daunting.

The gallery reception was lovely as always at the Bascom. This event was to celebrate all of the new opening exhibits including Greenville's own beloved Alice Ballard with "A conversation with nature...a walk remembered". Somehow, I was graciously invited to show my work in the atrium of the gallery space. One of the longest standing employees mentioned that there are only two other residents who have ever been invited to show their work in the atrium. This entire stream of events is such an amazing honor. My new work was warmly received by many present & half of the show sold that night. This partly was due to the supportive ceramics open studio member presence from the Bascom's Dave Drake Ceramic Studio Barn.

Since then I have replaced sold work with other pieces, which have continued to sell, and I am receiving commissions to make more of the same. At this point it seems I just can't work fast enough. On top of that, we had our last workshop for the season with Steven Hill last week -- who is a fantastic master potter. I've admired his work for a long time and was an experience I'll never forget. Another honor -- not only meet him, but to semi-assist him during the workshop. Steven, who saw my work in the atrium, approached me and asked if I wanted him to critique my work. I was floored. YES! What a gift. He was so kind & encouraging - giving constructive views on what I could improve. He even stated that this was a body of work he didn't expect to see from a resident, but was pleasantly surprised.

Above is a Steven Hill tea bowl gifted to those who assisted. I only wish I had better light to show off all the glaze subtleties. It's surface is just so decadent.

With all this, THANK YOU to all of you who have sent encouragement & prayers for the show -- your prayers were certainly heard and felt. Now for the final stretch...

The Gift of Gravity

by Wendell Berry

All that passes descends,

and ascends again unseen

into the light; the river

coming down from the sky to

to hills, from hills to sea,

and carving as it moves,

to rise invisible,

gathered to light, to return

again. "The river's injury

is its shape." I've learned no more.

We are what we are given

and what is taken away;

blessed by the name

of the giver and taker.

For everything that comes

is a gift, the meaning always

carried out of sight

to renew our whereabouts,

always a starting place.

And every gift is perfect

in its beginning, for it

is "from above, and cometh down

from the Father of lights."

Gravity is grace.

All that has come to us

has come as the river comes,

given in passing away.

And if our wickedness

destroys the watershed,

dissolves the beautiful field,

then I must grieve and learn

that I posses by loss

the earth I live upon

and stand in and am. The dark

and then the light will have it.

I am newborn of pain

to love the new-shaped shore

where young cottonwoods

take hold and thrive in the wound,

kingfishers already nesting

in a hole in the sheared bank.

"What is left is what is" --

have learned no more. The shore

turns green under the songs

of the fires of the world's end,

and what is there to do?

Imagine what exists

so that it may shine

in thought light and day light,

lifted up in the mind.

The dark returns to light

in the kingfisher's blue and white

richly laid together.

He falls into flight

from the broken ground,

with strident outcry gathers

air under his wings.

In work of love, the body

forgets its weight. And once

again with love and singing

in my mind, I come to what

must come to me, carried

as a dancer by a song.

This grace is gravity.

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