Friday, April 9, 2010

Thoughts on dinnerware........

For the last two months I submerged myself into the world of dinnerware.  Stuff to eat food off of.
I pitched a show to a local gallery and invited many of my favorite potters to join me.  As the date,
May 1st approaches fast and furiously I started to wonder how to make the connection between chefs and ceramic artists.  Our local home town guys have now hit the stratosphere of culinary stars.  
In the wee hours of the morning while spinning pots I had the brainstorm to write them a letter.  
These brain strikes that arrive at 2 a.m. should be slept on, mulled over and percolated before hitting the send button.  But alas I did not do that I hit send........ 

Michael Symon's assistant responded and I now owe her a mug and a beer!  Thank you Rebecca! 

Here it is..........

Dear Michael Ruhlman & Michael Symon,

Last month I attended an opening at Geode Gallery in Tremont.  Who should walk through the door but Michael Symon.  I was so elated that this guy walked across Tremont and bought several large framed art pieces to hang in his restaurant.  BRAVO!  I have eaten at Lola's on two occasions and enjoyed the food and atmosphere but I was not aware of Michael Symons awareness of " Sustainability" (2010 buzz word) on all levels; food, art & community.  Artists create art much like chefs create food, please come out to a studio and watch the process.  Tremont, Ohio embraces both.

You have come to my attention through your food, books, travels & the food channel; 
giving Anthony Boudain a tour on a cold winter day with Harvey Pekar......... BRAVO!
I have enjoyed reading your blogs from time to time and the basics covered in your books.
Best of all you are hometown guys!  

Working in Cleveland as a ceramic artist for the last 25 years and growing up in a very Hungarian/English family in Parma; is it any wonder my two
loves of food and craft should merge?   

Cleveland is a food, drink and a rock & roll kind of town.  We are the midwest.  We are the knuckle dragging, beer drinking,
dawg pound, heart of America!  Then again we host the world class Cleveland Orchestra and have one of the most prestigious 
art museums in the country!  And Medical teams!  We are gardeners, we are farmers, we are workers, we are educated and
we are people who love to eat!  
We are intoxicated by the vary thought of pierogis handmade by church ladies in the local church basement served dancing in sour cream from Meister's at the Westside Market!
Old money, New money........ we got it! 

It's about sustainability, supporting local economies; nobody believes in this more than the midwest!  Spend $40 on mug 
and take care of it!  I drink coffee out of a mug one of my friends made every morning.  I think about a different potter 
each and every morning, I can put a face with the mug.  I can put a face with my bourbon glasses at the end of the day too.
Ceramic artists and potters write about food as much as the food channel.  I have never been to a ceramic event where 
there wasn't fantastic food and drink served out of sumptuous dishes created by the hands of a potter.
It's a warm fuzzy and God knows we really need more warm 
fuzzy's these days. 

When I made functional hand painted work back in the 80's I will never forget a young woman walking into my booth at a street fair in tears.  Her Mom had always served mashed potatoes in one of those hand painted bowls for every family holiday.  She broke it and ended up buying 
four more; one for her Mom and each of her sisters.  If I still made hand painted pots I would still have a loyal customer.  It's just like 

You can't imagine how it warmed my heart when our daughter, a Peace Corp volunteer in Benin Africa, wrote home for directions on how to scrub out pig intestines & a sausage recipe.  She had talked her PC friends into hosting "Porkfest"! 

When her two year tour ended she and friend Annie traveled around the world on a trip dubbed;
Boozers without Borders; one country, one beer at a time.  They rated beers & food in Egypt, India, Nepal and on home to Paine Falls for Christmas dinner.

Now she is on a fishing trawler in the Bering Straits of Alaska.........

I approached the gallery owner at Geode to host a dinnerware show in May.  
The invitations went out to so many of my good friends in; Texas, New York, Kentucky, Montana etc.  
All are sending place settings.  Eighteen artists I am proud to call friends. 
If this has ever peaked your interest please contact me or even better, attend the Geode Gallery opening on May 7th.

 Geode Gallery
755 Starkweather
Tremont, OH 44113
p: 440.667.1651

I am participating in a show in Louisville, KY across from the Farmer's Market;  Home Grown, Home Thrown.  
Pots and dishes to serve fare from the farmers market across the street.

Each year at the National Clay Conference (NCECA) Santa Fe Clay hosts a dinnerware show.  It ROCKS!  The top clay artists in the country 
send in place settings and serving pieces to exhibit at a national gallery.

Would you ever consider writing an article, book or show about the artists who make the dishes the food is served on?
Better yet, Cleveland artists!   

If you get through this email I owe you a beer and a darn fine mug to put it in.

Sandy Miller


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