Friday, November 14, 2014

Giving Thanks. Again and again and again...

This post was written originally in 2008 on my old blog, Susan's Art & Words.  I wanted to share this story again because I never forget the generosity of this lovely couple and how it changed a bad time in my life into something so good.  I felt supported, encourages and uplifted at a time when in other ways, my life was in a down swing.  

In addition to gifting me with his kiln, Ed insisted I take his pottery wheel and chair, too.  I didn't know how to throw and told him that I had failed wheel throwing in ceramics  class but he wouldn't take no for an answer.  I loaded the wheel in the truck and when my life turned for the better several years later, I signed up for wheel throwing classes. 
Now, I throw functional porcelain pieces in addition to my handbuilding and sculptural work.  

Ed has passed from this earth, now.  But his spirit, generosity and kindness live on. Every time I turn on the wheel or kiln, I remember him and bless him.


Right now, with all the gloomy news about the economy, job lay-offs, and arts funding cuts, being able to give thanks for anything seems like a miracle. 

Miracles do happen. Believe me.

So right here, right now, I give thanks to Ed and Dorothy Wilbur for their generosity, warmth and kindness. In addition to supporting my work by buying several of my masks, they have gifted me with something I never thought I’d be able to have – a kiln. This is a much loved piece of studio equipment from Ed’s workshop where he did clay work as well as fused glass. I feel honored to have it passed on to me.

I’ve done clay work off and on for years. I’ve had it fired at the good graces of several different friends over the years. And I thank them for their kindness. But I didn’t want to keep on bothering people, so I just decided to quit doing clay and turned my attention to my metal work instead. And I thought I was fine with that until I got the chance to teach a clay mask class at the Museum of Contemporary Craft this summer. Then I realized how much I missed clay but without a kiln, I didn’t see how that was going to happen for me.

Enter Ed and Dorothy. 

They visited my studio during the Portland Open Studios Tour this year(2008) and noticed the clay sculptures on display. They hadn’t seen them at any of my gallery shows and I explained that I didn’t have many because I didn’t have a kiln or access to one. They asked if I wanted a kiln. I nodded. Then they offered me their kiln. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe such generosity.

But arrangements were made. A truck was rented. And I picked up a kiln. What, I asked could I possibly do for them in return? Their answer:  Nothing.

However, Dorothy had admired a wreath I’d made of aluminum oak leaves. I came up with an idea to make one of copper so it could hang outside in their art-filled garden. The day after thanksgiving, I delivered it to them. And they gave me another layer for the kiln and books on glass fusing.

I give many, many thanks to Ed and Dorothy. For they are the type of people who make miracles happen. Believe me. I know. 

Thanks to them, I now have a kiln!

Thanks again and again: I now throw, sculpt, glaze, show and sell my ceramic work.

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