Playing in the dirt... more than making pots
I started this blog years ago as a platform to talk about and showcase my artwork. At that point my future pottery business didn't even have a name. I was still learning how to work with clay as I experimented with functional and sculptural work. One thing was for sure, Playing in the Dirt, was a good name for the blog as it had a couple meanings for me.
Long before I had my hands in the clay, I had my hands in the dirt. My family was and is gardeners. I grew up watching vegetables grow and picking strawberries from the side of the house. The whole yard (a half acre) was my playground. I can still feel the soft, crumbly dirt between my toes and the rough bark of the apple tree. Whenever I was having a hard time or just wanted to be alone, the old apple tree was my best friend. I knew the curve of every branch and the quickest route to the top. I had reading nooks and lookout spots and I felt at home.
My mom would can tomatoes and green beans every year and still does. Those jars along with their potatoes will last our whole family through the year. No matter what was on the supper table you would always see either fresh quartered tomatoes or canned tomatoes in a bowl. I've always loved tomatoes and would eat them like apples right from the garden. My grandpa would grow cherry tomatoes for me because I loved them so much.
My dad grew up growing peaches with his family among lots of other
veggies and rows of blackberries. They would sell peaches from a farm
stand along Rt. 8. It was the main roadway back then. It runs
alongside the river and that's where I now make my home, alongside Rt. 8.
Grandpa would also sell peaches in a bar in Newport, Kentucky. Every week
they would deliver baskets full of peaches to sit on the end of the bar, and
every week they would sell out. My dad would go with him as a boy and
wait in the back of the truck while grandpa was in the bar. He sold
peaches to the street kids for a nickel a piece. Grandpa planted the
peach trees in the field next their house in Alexandria, Kentucky, while the
kids were young. The kids grew up as the peaches grew and matured just as
the kids were maturing into teenagers and adults.
Digging potatoes with the family
|My dad and his garden|
|The downed maple tree|
With the help of friends, a vision started to become a plan, and the plan turned to action. I’m so excited to start this journey and can’t contain the excitement. That’s where the blog and Instagram account (@playing.in.the.dirt) comes in. The blog will still serve as a space for me to share my pottery process but will also be a space for me to share my journey as we transform our .4 acre into a small homestead. I now have another avenue to be creative – within the landscape surrounding the studio and our home. Whether my hands are making a pot on the potter’s wheel or planting some veggies, I will always be playing in the dirt.
I hope you will join me along the journey and maybe learn something along the way. The greatest hope is that you too will be inspired to plant some trees and maybe grow some of your own food too.