Kinfolk: Plum Tree Pottery
The Studio Potter, Volume 43, Number 1, Winter/ Spring 2015
I could easily fill many pages with all I learned from John about studio practices, process, work ethic, inspiration, innovation and dedication. His generosity as a teacher and mentor is expressed in his unwavering encouragement and enthusiasm for helping others find their own way. Of the many gifts I received during my time at Plum Tree Pottery, one of my favorites was a moment when I watched him glaze one of his "landscape" pieces. I was so moved by the experience that I went home that night and wrote a short tribute. I still believe that the only way to describe what happens when John works in the glaze room is through poetry.
Sunlight swirls in though the window
Winding around the room, coating everything with a gentle warmth.
My gaze follows the illuminated path
And I am lost in the scene before me:
The artist and his creations, dancing together,
Relaxed in each other's company in a way that only longtime friends or lovers can be.
The confidence of his hands coaxing beauty from his work
Is so like partners on a dance floor, one guiding the other.
Flowing movement from one color to the next -
Layers, windows, lines and patterns seeming to simulate conversation.
The soft murmurs of their discourse drifts in waves,
Indiscernible but to the imagination.
The subtle peach of a whispered secret
Is complemented by the rich earth tones of hearty laughter.
Staccato points of brilliant red chatter
Float comfortably on a field of crystal green shared experience.
Tendrils of creamy, mellow memories
Wind their way through the azure of future plans.
This, then, is the artist's dance.