Dee and I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and happy holidays of all kinds. Through this blog and through the Hatchville Pottery Facebook page, we have friends on almost every continent. (Any potters active in Antarctica?) That kind of connection is a real blessing. We know the joy and pain of many of those friends, and we know the great pots many of them are producing. I love that.
Many people around me and friends my age are retired or thinking about retirement, and I am often asked, "So, is this pottery a retirement thing that you do?" To which I do not usually have a civil answer.
For the past decade or more, pottery has been the next thing I do, not the retirement thing I do.
I think I keep getting better, making better pots, more interesting pots, more complex pots. Why would I not want to keep doing that? And replace it with what?
This year, I started serving on the board of directors of The Studio Potter, a good and serious-minded hard-copy pottery magazine struggling to find subscribers in a digital world. I'm very new and at times very much trying to catch up with the others on the board. But I've made new friends and connections I'd never have made without the magazine. And maybe I can help.
And this year I talked my a-little-bit-reluctant friend Kim Medeiros of The Barn Pottery in Pocasset into a weekend woodfiring at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. She got great pots from the train kiln there by the ocean, pots that I personally thought were the best that came from that firing. And she fell in love with wood. Friend Dan Finnegan of Fredericksburg, Va., is coming here in a couple of weeks to talk about guiding the two of us through the building of our own wood kiln in the spring.
Our holiday kiln-opening and open studio was busier than ever; Kim, Lois Hirshberg and I sold more pots than ever before. Kim and I sold many pots right out of the warm kiln. Much jewelry, blown glass, coffee and paper goods went out the door, as well.
With luck, this winter we'll add studio and gallery space to the front of my current studio here in Hatchville. Our friend Mike Race, known by some of you, will do the building. More room for good pots.
Things keep changing and growing around here. Hoping it stays that way for many years.
Happy Holidays, everyone.
The photos: Our gallery, in a snowstorm a year or two ago, the photo used in a recent e-mail greeting from The Studio Potter magazine; one of my bowls from the Truro wood kiln; and one of Kim's pots from the Truro kiln, a pot that now lives comfortably here on a kitchen shelf with Ray Finch, Dan Finnegan, Doug Fitch and Hannah McAndrew.