Monday, February 27, 2012

10 Weeks and Counting

In 1999, Cynthia Spencer was President of the OPA and the spirit of cooperation and collaboration seemed to be going strong.  Members were organizing majolica workshops, Cone 6 roundtable discussions and contributing to the Empty Bowls program.  The annual OPA picnic was held at George Wright's and members came prepared to make stepping stones, participate in a bountiful potluck meal and let off some steam with the pot-smash.

I found this note in the August 1999 newsletter and thought I'd pass it along.  

"After Empty Bowls was over, my son Luke a I took a trip to visit Lynn Berry and her husband Richard in St Thomas. Lynn has a working studio/gallery in Tillet Gardens, a complex of about 20 small shops off the beaten path. The vision I want to share with you is what I found in her home. At first, I did not think much of her array of pots, until one day I was riding in her car, drinking from a mug that I had brought from her home. I asked her where she got the mug, and she said Glenn Burris made it. Later that day I took a long look at all of the pottery Lynn and Richard have in their home. In the bathroom I found two cups and a soap dish made by the Shapiros. In the kitchen were cups made by Sumi Wu. I also found pieces from Craig Martell, Janet Buskirk, Steve Mollering, Chris Kienle, Dennis Meiners, Ben Yang, Richey Bellinger, Tamae Sawano, and many other potter friends.
"When I go to other potters home and am offered a drink, I often have more trouble figuring out which cup I want to use than figuring out what to put in it. It is always a treat to use a new piece of work, and I always enjoy my visit just a little more because so many people live in those homes through the pots which reside there.
"I know I treasure all of the pots I have bought, traded or been given by my friends in OPA. Each time I use one or see one placed in a very special place I have the memory of the person who worked the clay and glazed and fired it in order for me to treasure it" -Mary Walyer

And in 1999 the Best of Show award winner was Vern Uyetake and this is what Vern had to say about the piece:

Best of Show 1999
Vern Uyetake
"The piece entitled 'Kinship' which won the Best of Show award in 1999 is very special to me.  It was of course a great honor to receive the award, but it also foreshadowed life-changing events in my personal life.  Like a lot of my work, I did not start with any drawings or preconceived idea in mind.  I began by putting together coils of clay and watched where it took me.  It actually came together over a period of months.  I kept it covered and would periodically come back to it until it was finished.  The final result clearly represented to me the joy of family.  

At the time I was not married, but shortly after I met my wife, Kari, and we now have a 3-year-old boy, Isa.  Together they are the absolute joy of my life."

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