Tuesday, December 2, 2008
A weekend selling pots in New Bedford
I spent the weekend at the Hatch St. Studios in New Bedford, at the furniture studio of my friend Mike Pietragalla, a builder of wonderful Craftsman Style furniture (floatingstonewoodworks.com). Mike is one of a couple of dozen artists and craftspersons working on two floors of an old mill in the North End of New Bedford. Sculptors, fabric-workers, potters, painters, printmakers, photographers, jewelers, knitters ... all surrounded us there. A lively and creative bunch.
I've been invited to do this show for three years now ... or is it four? Anyway, I've made many friends from the New Bedford area, some of whom have made the long haul (a good 35 minutes) to the Cape to see our studio and gallery in warmer weather and during the holiday open house here. I like doing the show, not least because of the artists and the buyers, but also because part of my own family started in the United States in New Bedford. I realized this weekend that my great-great-grandfather came over to the U.S. from the industrial Midlands of Britain to work in the New Bedford mills late in the 19th century. It's unlikely - but possible - that he started his working life in that very same building in the city's mill district.
It was a good show, in any case, though sales were down generally, no doubt because of the current economy. Still, plenty of people came through the studios.
Now, I have more pots to make for our own holiday open house, coming Dec. 20-21 here at the pottery. If you're in the area, come to the kiln-opening at 11 on the morning of Saturday, the 20th. Also with us will be Ruth Bleakly and her handmade books, Kim Collins and her jewelry and Jean Swan and her paintings.