Our first tour-goers for the Sixteen Hands Artisan Tour came on Friday, the day before the start of the tour. It was a small group from a ceramics class being taught at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts. Local potter Sarah McCarthy came up on the front porch and called out my name. She was enthusiastic to see and touch the simple forms of my son Josh Copus’s wild clay wood-fired pots that have been on display in my kitchen since he left for Tasmania in early April.
On Saturday, just after 10: a.m., a couple from Winston Salem, North Carolina, who have been collecting pottery for more than 30 years, were the first to arrive, complaining that their GPS got them lost on our back roads (those who didn’t use GPSs didn’t get lost). They were familiar with Josh and his guest artist Joey Sheehan’s work from the Crimson Laurel Gallery in Asheville and already owned a piece of Josh’s work. She, a potter, wanted a picture of Joey to compliment her purchase of a tile wall hanging and mug.
The next couple came from Virginia Beach, but have a weekend house in the area. The woman said she was prompted to take the tour after reading about Sixteen Hands (of which Josh is the newest member) in Clay Times, which thrilled me because I had written it. She browsed through that magazine and others I had that had stories written about Josh’s work or were written by him. They went home with a lovely glazed vase.
Throughout the day people came from Radford, Blacksburg, Rocky Mount, Laurel Fork, Fairfax, Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia, and from as far away as D.C. We also had guests from Minnesota and Georgia who were visiting friends in the area. Two separate groups, including the above snacking ladies, came from Smith Mountain Lake.
There were a couple of waves of traffic that filled the two gallery rooms (otherwise known as my living room and kitchen) and spilled out onto the porch and then trickles of people throughout the day admiring pots and sampling salsa and chips, wine and cheese, hummus, grapes and more. The weather was beautiful, the keg of wedge Brewery beer cold and there were lots of good stories to tell and to listen to.
~ The Tour continues today (Sunday, May 1st) from 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Watch a video from Crimson Laurel Gallery of Josh’s big pots on display HERE and visit their webpage which features Josh’s pots on the header HERE. More posts about Josh are HERE.