One Thursday afternoon, about a month or so ago, Milo and I headed over to the Clingman Cafe to have a snack before heading on to the dog park. It has become a ritual, since I started taking Thursday afternoons off in January, I have been going to Milo's kindergarten class to help with "Writer's Workshop," and then come 2:30, off to the cafe. It's great. Milo loves it because the nice lady behind the counter talks inventions with him, and they have really old Nintendo Power magazines, which review the games that will actually play on his old-school pawnshop GameBoy. I love it because they have Hellboy comics, play the Ramones as background music, make a mean bagel with cream cheese and lox, and have killer art.
Case in point - Patty Bilbro's ceramics. On this particular Thursday, Patty's work, which I had never before seen was being featured in a ceramics exhibit put together by a fellow Howard Street Handmaiden, Courtney Murphy. The entire exhibit was magnificent, and soon I was eyeing a few pieces in particular.
I always touch ceramics in exhibits, unless there is an explicit sign asking me not to. I encourage you to do the same. Why? As someone who works with clay, it is almost like a siren song, irresistable and automatic. My hands start imagining what a piece might feel like before I even touch it, and I love being surprised. I would say about half of experiencing a piece of ceramic work is in the tactile realm. Textures, weight, shape, and dynamics are much more experience of the hands than the eyes. If you're not touching things, you're missing out.
One covered dish in particular fascinated me.... you know the story about Pandora's box? Well, I sympathize with good old Pandy. I have a serious problem not opening things that have lids. Imagine my delight when I discovered... A GIRAFFE!
After that I had to look inside each and every one of Patty's pieces, to make sure I had found every member of the hidden menagerie.
During this safari of sorts I found out something wonderful. Patty's pots are not only beautiful and playful visually, they feel GOOD. Kudos, Patty! I am looking forward to seeing and holding more of her work at Howard Street this Saturday. See you there!