Monday, October 4, 2010

Watching The Week In Review

When I last posted, I included a photo of some of my gourds in their glazed-but-not-yet-fired state...

Well, Thursday morning at about 4:30 (or, as a good Hoosier would redund....."at 4:30 ayem in the morning") I pulled those gourds out of the kiln. I was pleased. Very pleased...

(gourds by the light of the single 100 watt bulb that hangs near my kiln)

I've been using a new wax resist that allows me not only tight control of very thin lines, but the fluidity to brush those lines as well.

The reason for the early morning kiln opening was the need to get on the road to Louisville by noon. With pots to grind and tag, boxes to pack, and a trailer to load, time was wastin' and I had to be gone by noon.

We made it to Louisville in time for set-up, and the art fair was fabulous. St James Court Art Show is perhaps one of the biggest art fairs in the country. At a time when attendance is dropping precipitously at once-huge shows such as The Ann Arbor Art Fair, the St James crowds are still going strong, with more than 300,000 attending.

But that's only part of what makes St James such an event. It's put on by a neighborhood association (as a fund-raiser), and that neighborhood takes great pride in being one of the most beautiful, immaculately maintained historic neighborhoods in the country. And it takes even greater pride in its hospitality.

Almost every night one neighborhood house or another hosted a party -- a mixer with artists and residents. Wonderful food, drinks, laughter and conversation were had throughout the whole weekend. And this interaction happened straight through from set-up night (One of the residents -- Keith, who happens to be a trained gourmet, fixed stuffed pasta for the row of five artists setting up around me), to the closing hours, when one could see resident, Judy, helping my friend Stephanie fold her canopy, while Karen (who lives behind my booth space) was helping us round up our last odds and ends in the fast-approaching dark.

* * * * * * * * * * *

I had a little extra fun at the show.

Mid-day on Sunday I noticed a familiar face in the crowd. Well, not exactly in the crowd. Rather, she was standing alone right in front of my booth.

I did a double-take.

Gwen Ifill?

But what was so odd was that, at the time I first spotted her, not only was she alone, but it seemed that nobody else in the crowd of thousands had yet spotted or recognized her.

So I must be wrong, right? I mean, surely if it was really Gwen Ifill, not only would she have been recognized by then (my booth is at the very center of the art fair), but she also surely would not be attending the art fair alone, would she?

Well, I summoned the courage to approach her and ask if I might photographer her in my booth -- finally about 80% sure that it was, indeed, her. But even as I then approached her, I finally noticed that she was holding a microphone. And as I was coming up behind her, her crew (photographer and stenographer) had, at that very moment, caught up to her.

I kinda shyly told her that I watched her every week, and I'd be honored if she'd let me photograph her in my booth. She smiled up at me and said that she'd be glad to if I'd return the favor and allow her to interview me about the upcoming Kentucky senatorial race between Paul and Conway.

After I apologized and explained that I wouldn't be good for the interview -- being, as I am, from Indiana, she said she'd still be happy to let me photograph her. In fact, her photographer even said, "hey, let me take the picture so you can be in it with Gwen."


So, after conducting interviews in front of my booth for about a 1/2 hour, she stepped up into my booth...

We got safely home....but not without incident.

While we were hurriedly packing up (remember I mentioned the early morning rush to get out the door to head south?) Dar observed upon walking by the rental trailer, "That tire sure looks bald, doesn't it?"

I agreed and told her that I'd noticed it too, but it was the only trailer on the lot.

It was bald. Very. It blew out at 9:30 PM on Interstate 65, smack dab between Louisville and Indianapolis.

Thank heaven for cell phones. I was on the phone to the U-Haul roadside assistance line within minutes. Unfortunately, between it being the middle of the night on a Sunday, and my van being situated in the middle of nowhere on I-65, it took a tire service with the proper tire and rim 4 1/2 hours to get to us and change out the wheel.

So we sat. And sat. And sat.

We tried to catch some sleep, but being, as we were, on the shoulder of an interstate highway, every single semi-tractor-trailer rocked our stationary van as it blew past us going 70 mph. Sometimes rocking can lull one to sleep. Other times, not really so much.

We finally got home at 6 ayem-in-the-morning. Tired, happy with a great show and with having made lots of new friends, and grateful that the blow-out happened with an empty trailer on the way home, rather than the full trailer on our hurried way south. Plus, it wasn't raining, and those 70mph trucks managed to stay in their lane for 4 1/2 hours!



  1. Sorry about the blow out on the way home. Glad you're safe. Gwen was in my booth as well. Too quick for me to snag for a photo, but I felt honored as I too am a fan of her reporting. Glad the show was good for you.

  2. I love that short little phrase "empty trailer on the way home."

  3. sounds like a great weekend...did you have a run on gourds? sorry about the blowout...yikes.
    one time phil jackson and daughter came into my booth (kalispell, montana) and bought a piece while i was in the restroom...i missed the whole thing.
    enjoy your rest now.

  4. Pat,

    I betcha if you end up on the court (instead of the inner court) you'll find business to be a bit different. Or else you'll find, as Angelo said, "I'll have 1,000 disinterested people pass by instead of 100!"

    I'm betting on more business.


    heh. You caught that. And you're right. I sold more than 75% of what I brought with me. I traveled home light.


    Yup, the gourds are ALL gone! Actually, they were all gone by Saturday morning.

    I'd have been struck dumb if Phil Jackson had walked into my booth.

  5. hey john, i love gwen ifill too and rarely miss her show on friday nights. i guess i missed out, sofia and i had actually had vietnamese down 3rd street that morning and i thought if i spied a parking space, we'd take a bit of a hike over and see how you were doing (busy no doubt). anyway right as we were getting there, the sky grayed over and it looked like rain. i thought maybe we'd do our other errands and come back if it wasn't raining but one thing led to another and besides, i'm sure you were way too busy selling your beautiful wares to socialize much. maybe next year.