1. It was the party I never let Josh have when he was a teenager. Although I think he had a few behind my back that weren’t condoned by me. This one was not only condoned, I helped with the planning. “This is the kind of party I can handle,” I said to him as he was setting up pots for a Hometown Pottery Show and I was warming cider on the stove. “It’s constructive, has a theme, and a time frame with an ending.”
2. My house was transformed to a storefront studio. Every surface was enlisted to make room for pots, teapots, bowls, bottles, platters, and plates. They spread throughout the living room and kitchen. A few were on the front porch.
3. “How did you hear about this?” I asked potter Tom Phelps, who along with his wife, Carol, was one of the first arrivals. “I heard it from you, Colleen,” he answered smiling. I needed that validation after the announcement I wrote didn’t make it in the Floyd Press. Tom, who was Josh’s first pottery mentor, also saw one of the flyers I hustled to hang just days before to make up for the lack of press.
4. “Did you see the balloons I tied to a tree out on the Parkway?” I asked Jody who came with her daughter looking for mugs.
5. A slide show of photos taken by Frank Bott that were playing on Josh’s laptop was mesmerizing. Frank is a photojournalist covering the growth of the River Arts District in Asheville where Clay Space Co-op, the studio and gallery that Josh founded, is located. The photos show the newly renovated Clay Space gallery, a warehouse space that was once Josh’s home, and the most recent wood-firing at the Community Temple kiln.
6. A steady stream of people flowed in throughout the day. Quite a few were fellow potters, like Zack, who is Donna Polsena and Rick Hensley’s apprentice. Later in the day Donna and Rick, two of Floyd’s “Sixteen Hands” potters who also live on the Parkway, dropped by. Donna was happy with the plate she picked out to purchase and pleasantly surprised when I took her in my bedroom and showed her one of her ceramic sculptures on my dresser.
7. My living room chair got relegated to a hallway. “This is where you can sit and tell Santa what you want for Christmas,” I told all the guests. “All I want for Christmas is a roof on our house,” said Chris Deerheart, who with his partner Alina is living in a workshop studio while building a house.
8. By the late afternoon it was sleeting ice and the front steps on the porch were slick. Josh and I got back to our kitchen table Scrabble game while Joe, who had just come in from hunting, made us all supper.
Post note: See the action video clip where Josh makes a spoof sale HERE. Click and scroll down HERE for more photos and narrative on Josh’s wild and wood-fired clay pottery. Part II of this post is HERE.