Thursday, May 22, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend #11

Memorial Day 1998 was my very first opening here on the Cape.  During the fall of 1997 I was living in NY and renting space at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY.  I was also traveling quite a bit to Quakertown, NJ to help out my friend Tim Clark who was then apprentice to my mentor, Toshiko Takeazu.  One afternoon, when discussing the future, Toshiko asked me if there was anywhere I could start my own studio.  I replied that my family had a retail property up on Cape Cod that was sitting vacant at the moment.  I told her that I thought that in five years if it was still there that maybe that was the right spot to open up shop.  She replied in classic Toshiko fashion, "Do it'll have it in 5 years."  

I had a very restless night in Quakertown going through all of the reasons why I should and shouldn't open up my own shop.  The biggest was that I had no clue what I was doing.  I was a recent graduate of Skidmore College where I had spent all of my free time in the studio, when I wasn't skateboarding that is.  Did I really know how to make pots?  Yet, I couldn't come up with a solid reason other than fear and thinking that I wasn't ready for my own place.  

I was scared...and I wasn't ready....but that didn't stop me.  I naively, maybe even stupidly, started work on my studio.   

Toshiko was right, five eleven later....I have it.  And, I sort of even know what I'm doing.  My pottery skills have grown through working here, firing with Mark Shapiro out at Stonepool, teaching, and now even surfing the web to look at other's techniques on their blogs.  

Now, at Memorial Day Weekend number 11, this will be my last summer with this gallery.  We are heading off to Austin, Texas in the late summer of 2009.  A move we're very excited about but leaves me feeling very strange as I continue to get ready for what is the official "opening" of the season here.  That's also why I've been working so hard on our website and on this webstore.  I'll still be making pots here until we move and with the webstore everyone will still be able to find my work.

The gallery has grown quite a lot in my years here as the pictures below can prove.  My work has as well and you can tell that too if you look at the pots in the first couple of pictures...please don't look too closely.  The biggest difference is probably Pre-Evangelina and Post-Evangelina.  Before Evangelina was here I thought the best way to display my work would be to put every single thing I had out on a table and together. Dozens of pitchers in one spot, some teapots over in that corner and look, there's every single vase I made during the off-season.  It was almost as though my kiln had vomited my pots out into the gallery.  Yes, the pots were decent but you couldn't see them.  

With Evangelina's help we have turned this place into something pretty nice and I think, very special on the Cape.  It is a working studio with a gallery that features work by some amazing artists working in different mediums.  

It is really hard knowing that this is our last summer with something that we worked so hard building.  We've told our friends and family about our move but we haven't yet seen the people who are so important to Kreeger Pottery....our summer customers.  Over the years we have seen a very loyal bunch who make it here every time they visit the Cape.  We have become part of their vacation and my pots have become part of their lives.  Some of our best customers are here for one week a year and during that short time they come to see us and my work.  That's pretty humbling to me. 

So, now our last summer with Kreeger Pottery on the Cape begins.  

Look out Austin....I guess somewhere down there is a space for me to have 5 years from now.

Thanks Toshiko.  

And thanks to all of our family, friends and customers who have helped build Kreeger Pottery over the years.

The gallery, First Summer on Cape
Gallery, Third Year?
Taken this morning.
The view out to the rest of the gallery.

1 comment:

brandon phillips said...

moving to my neck of the woods, eh? austin is about 3 hours from here. do you know the area you're going to set up in yet?

i used to be a little skate rat too. after the ?teenth nasty injury i decided i wanted to be a potter more. it was the correct choice for both of us i think. we look forward to seeing you down here.