Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Visit with the 'Cousins'

Me, Bruce, Val, Michael, and Samantha
This past weekend Stephanie and I went over to see our friends Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke at the Bulldog Pottery. This was their 2nd annual "Cousins in Clay" show weekend. Michael Kline, a wonderful potter from the N.C. mountains and another cousin was back for the second show. Bruce and Samantha invited some special guest this year- Elsie and Val Cushing came down from Alfred Station N.Y. Mr. Cushing was Bruce and Samantha's teacher and mentor at Alfred. It was really a great honor to have Mr. Cushing come down and do the show. We knew that Bruce and Samantha where very happy that they were able to come. As potters we could not pass up the opportunity to visit with Elsie and Val. We had such a lovely talk with the both of them. They are both really wonderful people, and we hope to see them again in the future sometime. We also really enjoyed seeing Michael and getting to talk with him for a while.
The work that was on display at the show was absolutely incredible. Michael with his playful use of vine and floral motifs and Bulldogs flowing and flittering molybdic crystalline glazes was something to see. Mr. Cushings work is so strong visually. The shapes are constructed with the skill of a true craftsman. All of his pots had a number that corresponded with the glaze that was used on that particular piece. He has made so many contributions to the field of ceramics because of his life long love for the development of clay and glazes. Through his teaching he has imparted to all of his students the importance of knowing and testing the materials at hand.
The Cousins show branched off to another pottery this year. Fred Johnston and Carol Gentithes from Johnston and Gentithes Pottery held a cousins show at thier pottery as well. They invited Allison McGowan from the Charlotte area to come and be thier cousin for the weekend. We were unable to make it by their place, but I am sure they had some great work out because they are such good potters. Fred and Carol were also students of Mr. Cushings at Alfred. It was a great big Alfred Homecoming down here in Seagrove. We think Elsie and Val had a wonderful time visiting with all these former students, and they got to see what they have accomplished since they left Alfred. We think that they were really happy for all of them.