search  current discussion  categories  places - usa 

the dangers of arizona- long

updated wed 16 may 01


Rod, Marian, and Holly Morris on mon 14 may 01

Don't go to Arizona if you are a potter with a serious case of =3D
"travelling shoes." We went last December to escape the Michigan weather =
and stayed at the Hummingbird House in Tucson, a lovely hacienda with =3D
severals kinds of digs and a fully operational pottery studio =3D
(advertised in CM as a "potter's retreat," which it is and then some).=3D=

I read Carlos Casteneda in my wild youth, but had no idea that all that =3D
stuff was true. That three weeks in the Sonoma desert was mystical, to =3D
say the least. Met wonderful potters retreating at the studio, learned a =
great deal, got totally inspired, and made a month long date for April =3D
when the off-season rates kicked in. That's when the danger kicked in.

My God, I have lived all over the world (really), and nothing tops the =3D
beauty of a million cactus in bloom on the fringes of north Tucson, =3D
between the two mountain ranges, on a morning when the peaks are exactly =
half covered with fresh snow. Went to a terrific workshop in Tombstone =3D
held by Toby Longface and learned about pitfiring, which I had not done =3D
in earnest before. Now THERE is one mystical place! Met even more =3D
potters, and still nary an art snob to be found. All, from the very =3D
accomplished to the wannabees (like me) were great folks to hang around, =
generous, mellow.

Then the Tucson Museum of Art had one of the most thrilling pottery =3D
shows (no THE most) I have ever seen- a survey of significant American =3D
pottery since the 50's (maybe the date is wrong). It knocked my socks =3D
off. All those potters you see in textbooks were represented in that =3D
show. It was just almost too much! This much art in a small town!

My town in Northern Michigan is not a whole lot smaller than Tucson, so =3D
where are all the potters? Secluded, I guess in our snowed-in studios. =3D
Though it is very beautiful here, there is something in the spirit of =3D
Tucson (and all of southern Arizona that I have seen) that just breaks =3D
open the artist in you. Maybe its the sun, the mountains, the air, the =3D
"mystique." It's a wild place, and just a little bit dangerous- the =3D
cactus, the rattlers, the tarantula we stopped for crossing the road. It =
keeps you just a little bit on your toes, definitely mindful.

I don't know, but the next thing you know, hubby and I were signing =3D
papers on a very affordable casita (here they would call it a condo), =3D
and making plans for our new life as "snowbirds." It all snuck up on us, =
which is why I say that Arizona is dangerous if you have a case of the =3D
travelling shoes.

Anyhow, if you haven't been there, its worth the the awesome trip, and =3D
now that it is going to be in our world, I'd love to hear (offline, =3D
perhaps) from any of you- hobbyists to pros, so that I can start my list =
of places to visit when we settle in.

Marian in Michigan (now officially a snowbird)