Happy Potters visit Texas Clay Festival

Carolyn Detjen

We always look forward to the fourth weekend in October! Gruene, Texas holds the opportunity for clay potters to meet and visit with artists and view and purchase their latest work. On the grounds of The Barn Pottery, the festival offers free demonstrations held in tents with seating for students and educators, professionals and collectors. Wheel throwing, sculpture, hand building and surface decoration techniques celebrate the media of clay, giving a good time to watch and learn different ceramic methods to use in shaping clay work.

About a dozen or so of our Happy Potters left on Friday the 26th for an action-packed journey. Filled with new methods and products to make our “life in clay” exciting and stimulating to the artistic “fiber and soul” of our being, we took pictures, wrote notes and filled tote bags with treasures. Many of us buy a festival tee shirt to give evidence of how we spend our time. We hover together in groups, sharing our adventure with each other, making sure that no one misses a good time. This was the 26th year for the Texas Clay Festival in Gruene.

To make sure that the potters unable to attend also enjoyed the good time, we held Show and Tell at the potter’s room in the CATC building. Jan Marx gave a teaching demo of printing on clay using a method she learned from one of the demo’s she had observed. We help each other to keep up on the latest trends in pottery. Many items were passed around the table allowing each of us to feel the texture and enjoy the beauty of new colors in the surface decor. Jackie Graham gave a picture show on her laptop and we were charged up with enthusiasm and joy, laughter and love. Love for our pottery-mates and love for the earthy clay that stokes the fire in our soul.

This week, a child about five years old visited the potter’s room with his Poppy. He has an art room where he attends school and is familiar with clay. He exclaimed to me that “the amazing thing about clay is that “It is just dirt!” We laughed together and enjoyed talking. Think about that observation. What in God’s creation is just dirt? What about water? What percent of the earth is water? We, as potters appreciate dirt and water because our love is in a mixture of each, making clay pots our expression of beauty.

Please visit our window and enjoy the fruits of our labor. We each are so thankful for our rooms of equipment and clay and each other.

Enjoy life!