Treasure in earthen vessels

18 01 2007

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.


Actions

Information

16 responses

19 01 2007
Anonymous

potters among us

What an amazing story. Makes you realize that although we are constantly surrounded by people, we have to stop and invest in them to really get to know them. And think of all the amazing people we might have missed because we didn’t “have time”. Good thoughts to go along with the book I’m currently reading (Practicing the Presence of People, Mike Mason).

Also, does he have a website? I’d love to see the pottery…

19 01 2007
Anonymous

Re: potters among us

Sorry, that was me, Tina H.

19 01 2007
Anonymous

Gift upon gift

Do you have the yellow roses arranged in one of your new ceramic pieces?
That’s so cool that the guy sits right behind you in church. I’d be hanging around his place all the time now. What an art groupie. 🙂

It’d be interesting to ask him how worship enters into his creative process when he’s throwing pots. -Erin

19 01 2007
milesprowl

Do you have any pics of the exhibit?

19 01 2007
Anonymous

I didn’t have anything to say, really, but I clicked on comments to see what others said, just because I’m nosy. I’m mesmerized by ole Miles here. seriously. can’t stop staring. i’m not sure i can hit the post button…
(BTW, don’t supposed you were named for a certain jazz player?)
Heather G.
http://heathergoodman.blogspot.com

19 01 2007
Anonymous

still staring. i mean, is it painful? it’s like watching the surgery channel.

19 01 2007
milesprowl

I should insert subliminal messages requesting money in my icon. Heather, should you stop by here again, I do love Davis (and Mingus, Simone, and others) but mostly it’s just a great name. Miles… ah just rolls off the screen doesn’t it?

19 01 2007
jeannedamoff

Re: potters among us

Hi, Tina. I don’t think he has a website, and I didn’t take my camera to the exhibit. But I plan to take it when I visit his studio, so I’ll try to post some pictures.

Sounds like an interesting book. Are you enjoying it?

19 01 2007
jeannedamoff

Re: Gift upon gift

Unfortunately none of the pieces I bought could accommodate long-stem roses.

I’m definitely going to visit his studio. And he gives private lessons, so I may look into that, too.

I agree it would be interesting to ask how his faith intersects his art. When addressing the artistry and beauty of his pieces in the newspaper article, he said, “I don’t try to be different, I do it from my heart.”

19 01 2007
jeannedamoff

I didn’t take my camera, but I plan to visit his studio and take some pictures there. I’ll post some when I do.

19 01 2007
jeannedamoff

Hmmm, yes. Well, I’m going to venture a guess that Miles is banging his head against the screen to release frustration after fielding one-too-many stupid questions at work. Miles is a tech support guy. (And, yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question.)

20 01 2007
milesprowl

“(And, yes, there is such a thing as a stupid question.)”

Drawing my conclusion from the many team building cooperate seminars I’ve been too I’ve come to believe that’s not true. But there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

By the way never do a “trust fall” with anybody in marketing.

20 01 2007
jaezesse

Roses? OooOOOooo! I want some.

Mz, I’m headed straight to Master’s Artist to check out that MHS-related post.

Tiny pink and red hearts full of love,
Grace

20 01 2007
hershey_s

are you sitting down? good, because i didn’t come here to comment on the pottery (cool as it may be). what i came to tell you, if you haven’t already heard through the grapevine, is that i’m getting married. i’m engaged to heather and will be getting married on august the 18th of this year. maybe you should get that fabulous nikon and come be my photographer…

aaaaaaaaaanyway, i guess i’ll ttyl.

20 01 2007
jeannedamoff

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Who’s Heather? Whoever she is, I’m sure she’s amazing. Yay! I’m so happy for you. I want to see pictures. Got any online?

Thanks so much for stopping by to tell me this. ♥

20 01 2007
hershey_s

heather is another pianist. she’s from lufkin. i do have pictures online, on my blogger account. quirky1.blogspot.com. here is the link to an actual picture of us, if i can get it to work properly -d

but look in the archives of the last couple of months and there’s a few more. toodles.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: