This evening George and I attended an open house launching a month-long pottery exhibit at the Marshall Visual Arts Center. The potter, James E. Sanders, makes wheel-thrown stoneware vases, lamps, dinnerware, bowls, teapots, chalices, candle holders, covered serving dishes, and much more. Not only does he strive for perfection in form, he also emphasizes intricate carving and pierced work, texture, and design. He earned a degree in art and went on to study with well-known master potters. He even created all the chemical formulas for his own glazes–colors that appear to have grown organically out of the landscapes his hands coaxed into existence. Evergreen on grass. Matte tan against glossy charcoal. Deep ocean. Speckled earth.
James Sanders makes his living from exhibitions and sales at Art and Craft Shows, demonstrations, and workshops. He also lectures for colleges, universities, and art groups, and teaches private students at his pottery studio. He worked 20 years as an Artist in Education and Artist in Residence with the Marshall and Longview Arts Councils through the Texas Commission on the Arts.
That’s only a portion of his credentials. And his pottery is breathtaking. But here’s the kicker. The man sits right behind us in church, and we never knew he was a potter! NEVER KNEW IT! We wouldn’t have known about the open house, either, if we hadn’t seen an article in the paper. People, I was blown away by this man’s talent. The workmanship is flawless. The designs are unique, whimsical, delightful, enchanting. How could I not know–how did I not sense the artistic gift in this gentle-spoken soul? Wow. Wow. Wow.
So, I bought five pieces. And I plan to visit his studio and add to the collection. And George and I will probably commission a set of dinnerware. Because he’s that good. Seriously.
Man. I thought I was observant. Now I want to interview everyone around me and see what else I’ve been missing.
In other news, a FedEx man brought me an FTD.com box of long-stemmed yellow roses today. (They weren’t from the FedEx man, in case you were wondering.) They are beside me on the table, and they are beautiful. Thank you again to the lovely person who sent them. You made my day.