Saturday, July 23, 2011

Photos of a Good & Interesting Time

By late afternoon today, I had exhausted my last run of library books and read a bunch of newspapers. Browsing for something else to read, I went leafing through the children's books on our den shelves, and pulled out one of those great little Usborne nature books, this one a lift-the-flap book called Animal Homes. (I love these.)

Imagine my surprise when I opened the book and discovered I'd stashed two photos in it long ago, from my days as pottery counselor at that camp I mentioned recently! I used to keep a "Wall of Fame" in the Pot Shop, which was a bulletin board I plastered with photos of kids and counselors at the start of each season. I know the two photos I found in the book were from the Wall of Fame, because of the still-slightly-tacky spots on their backs from the old tape.

I look at the images and think, I was a pretty good pottery counselor. I worked hard, and I loved it.

This one was sometime around 1998ish. Wish I could have shown the two kids standing with me in this first photo. They were cute, noisy little guys. I don't know what became of them, but as far as I know, confidentiality rules still apply to showing their faces. I tried leaving them in but just fading out their features, but the symbolism of doing that to the face of children who once had cancer was too weird.

And from my last year there, 2001:

Looks like I was helping someone make a mug. We made them out of slabs, which we shaped by wrapping them around glaze jars that were covered in newspaper. These were crude but effective. Some of them probably exist as pencil jars in the States, Israel, Australia and Russia to this day.

I heard this week from a relative who is working at the camp this summer that the Pot Shop was moved to where the old Wood Shop used to be. I was always jealous of Woody's space and used to kid him about it. He had a spacious double room, while we had one narrow room that had to hold kids, supplies and also the kiln.

It was a good and interesting time in my pottery life.


  1. You still look the same. I read your previous post about the camp and it must have been a magical experience.

  2. I hadn't taught until this experience, and didn't know that I could do it, until I tried. It was hard doing projects with little equipment in a small space, but we worked with our limitations. We mostly had loads of fun with the kids and counselors. It was a place to be a little off the wall. Magic has a flip side- not everyone who is coming for some respite in places like this is going to get better. But art is therapeutic and my daughters, my various assistants and I can always say we helped the healing a little in our way.