On the first Sunday of the month is the Alameda Flea Market. It's actually officially called the Alameda Antiques Faire but to me it will always be just the Flea. What a wonderland it is. Usually we go at 9:00 am but the real treasure hunters go at the crack of dawn. Once we went through all our junk in the garage and got together a truck load of "antiques" and rented a booth. We arrived at 5:00 am and set up our display. It was still very dark when, sure enough, the true treasure hunters arrived. Armed with flashlights and great instincts they zeroed in on the "good" stuff - an old grey desk with 2 drawers and semi silver looking handles, the frame to a twin bed that could pass for "shabby" chic, a green mirror with old glass. We made most of our sales that day in the dark. The people who came at 9 o'clock were enthusiastic but very picky and the ones who arrived in the early afternoon had already spent all their money on Kettlekorn and sausages. Sitting in the booth watching and talking with the customers was a gas. Packing the truck back up with all our un sold junk was not. What was left (and there was a lot) is still in the garage, priced and ready for the next time.
I get so inspired by what I find at the Flea. Here's a good example I found this beautiful banged up green metal vase at an old man's stand at the very back of the place (the spot, I think, to find the best stuff) . He also had large copper kettles that had been part of a restaurant chandelier and had holes drilled through the bottom for the light fixtures. We bought the vase and a holy kettle (which we use for fire wood). I took the vase to my studio. During one of the shows at The Berkeley Potters Guild I filled it up with long stem red roses and set it on the kiln top. I thought it looked stunning and so did the customers who really wanted to buy it instead of my fabulous pottery. Because so many people commented on the vase it inspired me to interpret the shape and TADA! I began making "trumpet vase" forms.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
I am an obsessed, messy potter. I am always covered in clay. Clay in my hair, on my jeans - front and back, under my fingernails and on my toes. You can tell where I've been by following the little white dusting my footprints make when I've just left the studio. It's my snail trail. Sometimes I blow into pieces to puff them up giving me a rather attractive clay moustache. I have taken workshops with master potters who manage to get not a spot of clay on their thighs when they throw. I think it's a sign of a professional just like a professional painter who doesn't finish a job covered in the color of the day. My splotches are my kindergarten badges of exuberance. I wear them proudly to the grocery store.