Tag Archives: melissa brown

Ceramics isn’t for Wimps.

Tape & Sympathy

On any given day, you can find me out in my garage studio (hereafter referred to as the garagio) in my pajamas and barefoot. I don’t see any sense in getting all clean and dressed when I know within a matter of minutes I’ll be covered in clay. I’ve never liked shoes. Growing up in Southern California, I seldom needed them for warmth and I have oddly wide, hard to fit feet. TMI? Anyway, all my life, I’ve kicked off confining irritating shoes as soon as I could. I cheered when it became trendy to run barefoot, not that I run, I just love hearing it’s healthy. I feel like it doesn’t make my barefoot tendency quite as odd. As much as I’m an advocate for barefeet, I did think it was disconcerting when that hobbit movie director started showing up at all the award shows barefoot. I love that he championed the barefoot cause, but I must admit, ever since the 70′s ended I do don shoes for most public events. Maybe it’s a girl thing.

Anyway, I digress. Last Saturday was no different than most days. I went out to the garagio, trimmed some mugs I have in the works, and decided to tidy up a bit since it was the end of the week. I pulled my lovely, but ever so heavy, circa 1970′s Shimpo pottery wheel towards me to sweep under it and I just kept going – right over my big toe. It took my big toenail with it. I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say…that moment is something that’s going to stay with me a long time! I flapped the nail down, put on a pressure wrap, then went in and put on street clothes and a shoe on the undamaged foot and waited for my darling husband Steve to come home. We wound up in the UCLA emergency room for the rest of the day. There I learned the magical properties of morphine and nerve blocks and I was counciled on the wisdom of wearing shoes when working around heavy equipment.

The ironic punchline? I wont be wearing a shoe on my right foot for a long, long time.

I’m off to the garagio now…barefoot!

ps: my toe is feeling much better now, a few days later.

Welcome to my new blog!

Well. I thought I’d start this blog by sharing one of my happy places. This is a photo I took last week of June Lake in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. I grew up camping all over this area with my family and now return there to renew and ground myself.

When my husband Steve and I used to travel to art shows with my gourd work, we’d go through the California, Nevada, and Utah deserts once a year. Sometimes it felt like it took forever.  Growing up in Southern California, I have great affection for the beauty of the desert. Wide shot, it can look lifeless and desolate. With a macro lens on, life emerges, efficient, specialized, and tenacious. Anyway, I digress. After driving through hundreds of miles of desert, the first green place we’d encounter was a little valley named Cedar Pocket. It has water and reeds and red rocks and a particular beauty. I grew to look forward to it. It is a special place with a great name.

Just as Cedar Pocket was an oasis after that long drive in the desert, my clay work was an oasis when I picked it up again after a 30 year hiatus. When I opened my new business, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name than Cedar Pocket Ceramics.

Where is your happy place?