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I drove up to Zanesville to take the show down and visited with my friends Maddy and Howard- more about them later. Maddy knows the ceramic business in the Zanesville area and she gave me a tour of Roseville.
Maddy and I drove around Roseville and down a street named "Potters Alley", which used to be lined with potteries. Sadly, there are no more potteries along Potters Alley. There is however, one that just burned down. (That is the fate of many a pottery. Can't play with fire and not expect to get burned occasionally.)" The burned out buildings were full of molds. Maddy just picked up half of a duck mold.
Look at the dark room in the center distance. I was full of shelves- that were full of molds!
The room up close.
Here is what Roseville's main street looks like nowadays.
Well, if you are gonna get the pottery tour, you have to see the clay mines, right? There were 200 potteries in the Zanesville/Roseville area through the years. The reason? Clay mines. Maddy guided me to the mines and there is not much to see, but I am going to show you anyway. This pic is as you drive up to the mine.
And this is it. We could not get to the pits, but this is where the clay is broken up and pouched (the white nylon bags on the left) for delivery.
The view out the window...
and the main office.
This is the road in and out.
OK, on to Maddy and Howard. I first met Howard Peller and Maddy Fraioli when I first started doing the Pottery Lovers Reunion show in Zanesville in the late 90's. They were the founders of Fioriware Pottery which was literally located in downtown Zanesville. Zanesville was- is- one depressed town as the potteries have all but disappeared. Fiori was a new and shining star in the pottery scene. I used to make my annual trip to the Fiori show room and buy a piece or two to bring home. I have a few pictures of Fiori and Maddy in my old updates. Maddy is pictured in this update crying as she parts with one of her favorite platters. I am tickled to have that piece as it is killer! There is one more picture of Maddy in this update from 2006, the year Fiori shuttered the doors. I asked Maddy, "Why couldn't Fiori make it?" Her answer in one word: "China". Maddy is still making pottery and also hooking rugs. Check out her website Rosehill Designs.
Maddy's husband is
Howard Peller. Howard was the designing force behind Fiori and if you look at his statements and resume on his website, you will understand what a force he is in making art and craft a part of daily life for people of all walks of life. Give his site a peek. He is an accomplished fellow. and I am tickled to know him. He thinks different. He has got the big picture in mind all the time. Something interesting and admirable that both Howard and Maddy do is they travel the world to encourage and promote art and craft endeavors via an organization called Aid to Artisans. They have gone to places like Haiti, India and Jamiaca helping artisans anyway they can.
On to dinner! Maddy gave me a tour of their 1832 (52?) house and grounds. And what a beautiful place it is! Just today, I was walking through the Japenese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden and I turned to my wife and said, "This place is not as nice as Howard and Maddy's!" It is true. They have one beautiful and intensively manicured eight acres. My pics don't do it justice. I should have thought to take good pics rather than just snapshots. Oh well.
Maddy in the kitchen.
And here is one room of many, that constitues her studio. In the distance is the fiber/hooking studio and I am standing in the clay studio.
One wonderful thing about Howard and Maddy's place is that virtualy EVERTHING you see is handmade.
I told you we were going to play croquet before dinner. Here is Howard on the right and sons Asa (spelling?) on the left and Henry in the middle.
Noble looking fellows, right? After the game, I was told that Howard has not lost a game all summer!
A nice stand of sunflowers against that red wall.
Another of the buildings around the house. The boys apparently stay here when visiting. They are all in school.
We had a wonderful dinner watching the full moon rise.
All I can say is "Thank you Howard and Maddy- and the boys. I had a wonderful visit."
The purpose of my visit to Zanesville was to take down the show. The take down coinsided with a public pottery event at the museum and I was invited to demo for the afternoon of August 13th. I didn't not get much "demoed", but rather I met and talked with lots of folks that were visiting the museum and admiring the goings-on. Pictured on the right is the grandson of Sam Weller who founded Weller Pottery. To the left is my friend, Dave, a knowledgable and avid pottery collector.
Speaking of Dave and pottery...
This next case is my favorite!
I had dinner with Dave and wife, Mary, and afterward we drove around Zanesville and looked at the remnants of Fiori Pottery.
Pictured is the wall around the old Fiori Pottery building. Is that a labor of love? Unfortunately it will not last long unless somebody tends to that wall. Even a spray of waterproofing every year or two would buy it years. If I were in town, I would do it. Heck, I may do that next summer- with permission of course.
Another picture of the embellishment of the Fiori building.
This is one long update. The tips of my two index fingers hurt! I am going to finish off with a piece that is just about finished. This piece has a motion sensor powered voice module inside it and it will say something like...
no, it WILL say...
"Remember that what lives, leaves- and what does not live, stays. Love what leaves." On that note, I will leave you until next time.