Art is a Connection, A story and a Relationship
I collect ceramics. Each piece has a story and a relationship. I appreciate knowing the story or about the person who made it. Each piece is as unique as the maker and the story associated with it.
I met Samia Blachere before we moved to Pittsburgh. Her husband was one of the faculty members in Ian’s department at Pitt. She never visited us without ceramics in hand, usually filled with her amazing baba ghanouj. I bought some of her work as gifts for my family. Once I wanted a piece for my mom and popped into Sam’s studio. I chose a little gem of a bowl that she had just unpacked from her A Fair in the Park show. It still had the price tag on. But she wouldn’t sell it. Actually she was glad that it hadn’t sold. She loved it that much. It had a price tag but it was priceless to her. Samia died close to 10 years ago. When I think of her, and I do often, I touch one of my many bowls that she made. I may not be talk with her but I can touch the work of her hands.
In 2016 I was in Dublin for a girls’ weekend with my youngest sister Robin and my daughter Claire. While in Ireland, I found this pretty pottery in a shop in Kilkenny. Brookwood Pottery doesn’t seem to make the Wildflower pattern any more. They’ve evolved in new directions. I don’t need more. I can’t buy more. But my purchase allowed for that evolution into the new creations that I continue to follow from across the pond. Supporting art does that, allows for future growth.
Not all my potter is functional. These three pieces have such different stories yet sit harmoniously together on a side table. The carved piece (Sgraffito) is from Nicaragua. I won it at an auction to raise funds for our daughter’s Ohio State University group Project Nic. I bought the porcelain piece with the hand carved cypress at the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival. I don’t recall the reason but I’d had a bad day. Clearly buying the piece worked. The black bowl came from an artist at Chautauqa. Ian and I picked it together. The potter dung the clay on his land, stamped the bowl with fossils found on his land and fired the pot in a hole in the ground on his land. The latter technique give it bowl its color. Intriguingly, the later two potters both won best in show at the Three Rivers Arts Festival at different times.
In 2019 I was with Robin again for my Czech bead tour. She lives in Edinburgh Scotland, and since she got me into the jewelry business, it seemed fitting. Anyway, before we began touring, we spent a couple of days in Prague where we found a potter under a bridge. I lost the card and can’t remember the name. Still, I drink my coffee every morning from this mug (one of a pair) and remember.
Most recently I acquired two pots for my growing succulent collection. My fellow Artsmiths and ArtFluencePGH artist Amanda Wolf of Wolf’s Den Pottery had the lovey pot with the cardinal on it in her Etsy shop. I knew it would be perfect for my plants. We arranged for me to drive over to get the piece. I got to see her studio and peruse her inventory. The second pot just worked with first. So I came home with not just one but two pots. Now, what plant will look best in what pot?
You can learn more about Amanda’s story and other ArtFluencePGH artists on the upcoming Facebook Live Events, Wednesday, September 16, 6-8PM and Wednesday, September 23, 10AM-noon.