Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pottery and Potholes Along the Saint Croix

The Saint Croix Valley Pottery Tour is this weekend.

We had planned to spend the day going from studio to studio yesterday, but the cold weather kept us at home. So today – after sleeping-in far too late – we hurry out the door and head north to visit our friends up at Richard Vincent’s studio in North Branch.

That’s a ways from where we live, so we don’t arrive until after 10. The yard is quiet, with just one other person looking over the pottery displayed on various tables. Otherwise there is no sign of life at all. They must all be inside finishing breakfast. Oh well, Winthrop has a variety of pieces out, including some small plates that I eagerly scoop up (he likes to throw really big pieces, so finding something small is a rare treat), while Sandra’s display space is locked tight. Hmmm. . . maybe it's a little too quiet.

Lane goes back to the car and consults the flier for the show. Oh. The show doesn’t open until 11 today. Dang.

I set my little collection of salad plates back on the table. We’d really like to visit with our friends here, but I don’t really feel like hanging around waiting that long either. Time to move on.

So now what are we going to do? It is a beautiful day and it seems silly to go all the way back home. . . how about trading pottery shopping for gawking at the potholes at Interstate Park?

The park sprawls along a scenic section of the Saint Croix where the river is restrained by rocky cliffs.

There are also paddle wheel tours of the river through here.

However, the best thing to do here is to clamber over the rocks, admire the sweeping views over the river, and gawk at the weird glacial potholes carved into the rock.

While some of the potholes are perfectly round, others are far more abstract. Likewise, while some are filled with water, others are dry. Most, however, shelter vegetation of one sort or another.

It is a lovely green place with interesting rocks. What could be better?!

NOW it is time for some pottery.

We haven’t been to Connee Mayeron’s studio in a couple years and she has a guest artist whose work I want to see, so we pull off the highway into a farmyard turned into a sculpture and ceramics studio.

It’s a lot nicer today than it was yesterday, but the warm fire – complete with sheltered chandler – is inviting!

Of course, the art is pretty inviting too. I like the Persian-inspired work of guest Liz Quakenbush even more than I had anticipated and there is one less plate on display when we leave.

We are also tempted by the work of Shoko Teruyama, although this time we resist.

Sigh. So many lovely, useful things.

Just down the road we are tempted by the work of Guillermo Cuellar and his guests and now we have a great dish for making and serving guacamole at our next party!

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