From Charlie Carruthers

I’m not sure where to begin- maybe at the ‘beginning’. I don’t remember having a particular interest in ceramics, or pottery making, but while taking a sculpture class at Cañada College in Redwood City, I believe it was late spring of ’72 (’73?), a Big Creek Pottery flyer/ brochure on a bulletin board caught my eye announcing upcoming sessions. Within a few days, I knew this was something I had to follow up on. I must of called and talked to Marcia ’cause I remember driving down the coast highway the day before a session was starting, only discovering where Davenport was maybe a couple of days earlier, and feeling a strong pull the closer I got. I met Bruce and Marcia, I wanted to attend, and I was accepted.

The next 8 weeks were pure bliss- perhaps I never felt more at home within myself as I did then- it was magic. The total immersion in pottery making, the camaraderie, the beautiful coastal environment, the old barn, the goats, geese, pigs, and chickens, the garden, the wonderful meals prepared by Annie, the outdoor showers overlooking the pond (I was convinced at the time that I would never take another indoor shower…:-)), the music, dancing, the laughter (no one laughs like Bruce & Marcia), the wine, visiting Eric Norstad’s, feeling inspired by the words of Marguerite Wildenhain through her books,… I could go on. In the studio I remember the precise beautiful forms coming from the hands of Sarah Haynes, the exuberance coming from Arnie Zimmerman as he worked at replicating the pots, the forms of Tamba ware. I enjoyed learning to throw pots a lot, but I remember really getting into helping build a Japanese style hill climbing kiln (on a much smaller scale) just down from the studio deck. One of the things I learned from Bruce that has always stuck with me, and I’m paraphrasing, ’cause I’m sure he expressed it much more poetically, had to do with understanding the “why’ behind the ‘how’. I was fortunate to be able to stay on at Big Creek after that initial session, and again at a later time.

In summary, I’m very grateful for what Bruce and Marcia brought to my life mostly by their example- their love for life and each other. I always look back at that time with a smile, and I know many of the things I learned and absorbed then were a foundation for much of what I would go on to do… a big thank you. I’m really looking forward to seeing Bruce and Marcia and reconnecting with many friends.

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Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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