Thursday, July 24, 2008

mac and me.

our last pottery destination while in minnesota was to go see warren mackenzie. when we were deciding what we wanted for dinnerware we thought we would like to have a mixture of dishes by the various potters that we know and like. above all for me i wanted some plates by warren mackenzie, since he has been easily the most influential person in my life and work. we have a few of his pots, mostly bowls, that we use all the time. the problem is that he absolutely hates making dinner plates for various reasons. i've known him for quite some time so i new what buttons to push to get him to do it. this makes me sound manipulative, but really i just asked him and pleaded my case, he thought about it for a bit and then said ok. he asked what i wanted and i told about some designs i'd seen on dessert plates but that i'd be fine with whatever. we told him we wanted 4 but when we showed up he had made two different sets of 6 and told us we could mix and match however we wanted. we ended up getting 3 of one and 3 of another. its really awesome to have dishes made my someone that you respect and admire that were made specifically for you.
we were at warren's about noonish and in his workshop he had made 16 or 18 large(20-25#) bowls/platters, and several other large deep bowls that morning. what is he now 85 or 86? it was pretty neat to see him still working at that level. he had just rebuilt his kiln in january, he tore down the second chamber and rebuilt the first exactly as it had been. it still fires with a cone 7-12 variation. he said he'd been firing with that variation for thirty years and he was finally used to it so there was no sense in trying to get used to a new kiln at his age. i was happy to see that he still keeps a few pots in his showroom for out of towners and people who don't know he "closed" his showroom. it was sad to see it though with only about 15 pots in it he used to have several other potters that sold out of his showroom so it was always packed even when there weren't any of his. we decided not to take any pictures because it made me quite sad, i would prefer to remember it the way it was. when i still lived in minnesota it was my absolute favorite place, i could spend hours it seemed looking at all the pots, warren might drop in and i'd attempt to chat with him for a minute(he had god status to me as an 18 year old.) so i'll always try to keep that memory of a place of such importance to me and not dwell on what the internet hawkers(sp?) have made it.
well, thats enough for now i suppose.

4 comments:

Michael Kline said...

Thanks for the MN stories Brandon, it's wonderful to be able to sit on your shoulder and visit these great pottery places.
Have a great firing. Look forward to seeing more of your pots.

tsbroome said...

This has been a great treat to see photos from your trip.Thanks for all of the inspirational photos!

Ron said...

What a special treat to have those plates made especially for you guys. I was glad I got to visit Warren a few years ago before the showroom closed. It was amazing to see all the pots in there.

Craig Edwards said...

Hello: I saw your blog on Ron's Blog.
Yes what a treat to have Warren make you plates!! I saw Willem at St. Kate's and picked up a mug to replace one that had broken.