Tuesday, November 22, 2011

adventures of a traveling potter.......

For those who read the blog you will recall in the last entry I predicted snow would be flying about the time I started the truck Thursday morning at 9:15 a.m.  I am psychic, no make that psychotic!  Snowing hard enough, I white knuckled it to Breezewood, PA.  Boy, I just love pulling that trailer in the snow, especially through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  Hit Hagerstown, MD by 3:45 p.m. and thought I would be eating in dinner in Richmond....... until I hit Washington D.C. rush hour, which starts at noon.  I have never been in traffic like that in my life!  Talk about the creep and beep for 4 hours, or maybe the creep and crash.  If you live in DC you should be driving a rubber car.   I found a radio station that alerts commuters to traffic wrecks every 8 minutes.  It was a bit static-y and I swear I heard him say;  Stay off the 395 (long static pause)...... a deer burst into flames.  
I saw 5 models of cars:   
Hummer (so you could drive over the car in your way),  
Porsche Carrera, Black so you can drive on the berm 110 mph.
2011 Lincoln with congressional plates and some guy on a cell phone
Chevy Van or Pick up with Ladders and Wheelbarrows attached
teeny little Nissan Versa hatchbacks in a variety of colors
OH and me, in a Colorado Pickup (color; Arrest Me Red) pulling a trailer full of breakables.
I should have just painted a bullseye on the back door.  

Arriving at my hotel by 9:45 p.m. let's just say it was a long drive and gave new meaning to "crash and burn."  I was toast.

Arriving at the Science Museum the next morning I was shocked to see my pot hanging on the banner to the museum!  Hey, is this like having your name in lights on Broadway?  YUP! 

8 a.m. and time to set up.  Easy set up to be sure.  Pulled right up to the front door, unloaded and parked the truck.  Started the migration of booth stuff and inventory into the exhibition hall and the booth was up by 1:30 p.m.  YAHOO!  I had time to head back to the room, shower, nap, and make myself look human, if I only had opposable thumbs. 

Back for the preview party by 5 p.m. and we were off to the races.  Opening night was excellent.  
The lights went off at 9:30 p.m. and I was back in my room by 9:45 p.m,  flat lining.  Working solo this show I never took the time eat, drink or have coffee.  I reached for my rescue snacks; carrots and mini shredded wheat biscuits.  The hotels now provide us with a tiny one cup coffee maker, thank goodness and I perked away every single packet of coffee provided.  A couple aspirin and lights out. 

Up the next morning and off to the show...... figuring out the museum has a Starbuck's in the Cafe on the first floor, and thankfully found out I was next to the water fountain on the main floor.  Starbuck's and water; nectar of the Gods and I could go for days!  I walked the show floor before the doors opened and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the work.  Peter Saenger!  Love his work,  I have been a fan for many years!  Added the creamer and sugar to my collection by the end of the show! 

Stephen Zeh, the traditional ash basket maker from Temple, Maine was a treat to meet too!

I also had time to discuss design challenges with Akiko Sugiyama.  (Her work just sends me to the moon; wonderful! )

Ran into the hometown artists, Jenny Mendes and Mark Yasenchack too.  

Saturday, the crowds were slow but I managed to get the better part of pot collar woven.  Saturday night, the Craft + Design crew treated the artists to a great potluck dinner!  We were wined, dined, serenaded in candle light and able to tour the Craft + Design Center.  http://visarts.org/craft-design

Back to the hotel by 9:00 p.m. and again........ lights out.  For those of us who talk to the dog in the studio it is taxing talking for hours to throngs of people.  By Sunday I happily checked out of the hotel and made myself ready to stand erect in my booth for another few hours.  By 5 p.m. the packing material was flying and the dollies were racing to the floor.  Most artists have this part down to a science, I do not.  I also think potters are the last to vacate the building and I held up my end of the bargin!  Slamming the door on the trailer by 8:20 and I was sweating like a turkey invited to Thanksgiving dinner and embracing the solitude of the truck cab.  Last vehicle out of the parking and I could not get home fast enough, until I hit Washington D.C. Sunday night rush hour.  
Kill me....... 
Painting the lines on black asphalt in the dark on I 495 and funneling down 5 lines of traffic to one is like me, in a pair of skinny jeans.  Ugly, angry and something is going to split.
If you want to know why the country is struggling just drive the D.C. beltway and it really doesn't matter which one you pick because they are all parking lots 24 hours a day.  Of course I took the wrong expressway because the 495 is not labeled east or west.  You have your choice;  Tyson's Corners or Baltimore, since I have never heard of Tyson's Corners I picked Baltimore...... WRONG!  Looking for an exit I could turn the Queen Mary around and go back from whence I came I closed my eyes and picked one.  I ended up in a fancy schmancy neighborhood with horseshoe driveways.  Perfect!!  I pulled around some home owners driveway with the big ass trailer and said(in my best British accent); Oh Love, can't stop for coffee, so sorry, Cherio!  and headed for the 495. 
I could see where I need to go but for love nor money could not get there.  I was on a 4 level bridge suspended in the sky and I needed to get to first floor lingerie'.   Then shockingly, in front me was deer!  Running down the bridge.  How did you get up here?   I wanted to pull up next to her and say;  GET IN!  This is bad!  Do deer merge?  Forget merging, just get off this bridge.  She moved to the side and I passed, we were both freaked out beyond words.   I have to say I don't know if she got off or how she got on but a deer did not belong on a bridge 4 stories in the air in downtown Washington DC.  Maybe Congress could pass RED;  Right to Educate Deer.  Probably not since a budget seems to be out of the question too.   I truly think if they could fix the road system this country would run much smoother. 

Finally headed back to Hagerstown in the rain and fog I creeped home.  I pulled in the driveway at 5:45 a.m, just in time for morning coffee with Butch...... Perfect!   I crawled up stairs and heard him say...... are you going to shower before you go to bed?  I yelled back...... I'll wash the sheets!  It was 6:20 a.m.
The phone started ringing at 9:30 a.m. and I was off to unload the truck...... what a way to make a living but I love it :) 


  1. a good show, but what a journey!

  2. WOW! You deserve some sort of medal for doing D.C. twice! Loved your commentary on the week-end!

    What a treat to find your pot on the banner! Glad it was a good show.

  3. Ah the life of the artist on the road, so surreal. Still holding my side from laughing after reading about your adventures! Glad to see you made it to Broadway and back! Encore, encore.........

  4. Just back from hunting and gathering for our holiday ......... Washington was a breeze compared to the store! but no deer .......

  5. That creamer/sugar set is stunning! Will there be some variation of it in your spring line?

  6. Hey there KJ! If the knees hold up through gardening spring garden season I am really hoping for a June studio sale this year! I will have creamers and sugars to be sure but Peter's work is stunning and will let him rock out his incredible creations! and he's a very nice guy :)

    Happy December Bloggers!!