Gary Navarre on thu 14 oct 04
Finally getting settled after the adventure downstate. Stoped at Teals
on the way to the bridge and made $16 from pine cones and pricess pine I
picked that Saturday morning. Had a good talk with Terry and showed him
pictures of what we do. Said he wants to see the kiln site.
Got to Dave and Teresa Dombrowski's way after midnight and ended up
calling from Greenville to have someone lead me in at 2:30 AM. T. came
and got me. Guess Mapquest doesn't have every little jig and jog in the
road. Hell, they have me on the opposite side of Camp Hayes Rd. here in
Norway. It was neat driving through some of the old oil hunting grounds
we covered with Mobil in the '70's and Hoskings in the '80's. Oh, to be
young and strong enough to hunt oil again. Just the thought of 130 lbs.
of geophones and cable on my shoulders crossing a beaver swamp heading
for a 1/4 mile uphill leaves me breathless.
I'm glad Dave moved to a more country location so Teresa can set up the
space she needs to make pots and Dave can set up the telescope on the
upstairs deck. He pointed to a 5 trunk Maple that was in the view so
Monday I dropped it while he was at work. Teresa and a friend helped
clear the limbs and pull the rope on one trunk that leaned toward the
house. Well, T. took the picture as her friend wasn't pulling quite
steady enough and jerked in time to drop the thing between a tall spruce
and the house. Maybe it did "graze" the house a bit and maybe it did
"tip" the power line slightly but it was a good drop. Lots of fire wood
for the studio and Dave can make small boxes from some cut offs. I
didn't expect to get paid but it was helpfull. I left my work gloves
I should have checked my email before getting to Bruce Dibbolls and
called first but his new wife fed me right away. Bruce has come a long
way. He still throws for his dad Bob who puts the cobalt on and salt
glazes. They've been at it for years. I've seen Bob's collection of old
American salt glaze and it is awesome. Why is it that old potters houses
are somehow crammed with art stuff? The next day Bruce threw a couple of
pitchers and I shot some pictures. Jack Fosters glasses were on a shelf.
We have just a few momentous and that's enough. I have the last piece
Jack worked on before passing. And speaking of "lasts", Bruce told me he
bought the last wheel Soldner produced in the Grand Junction factory. He
has made lots of pots on it and it's as quiet as ever. I'm glad he
bought a place to build his kiln. Wish I could have stayed and thrown a
pot but I needed to get to Moms and stop at Dart's on the way. Before I
left Bruce showed me his "don't blink" and Goggled me and whataya know,
there we are in all our glory, ClayArt posts and a bunch of Lee Love
stuff, right on! So I left for Dart's reinspired. I left the Advantix at
What a treat to see Dart again, it's been too many years. He always has
a relaxed dignity I've admired since our first meeting. I took my Mom to
visit him the next day. You should have seen the look in his eyes when
he lit the burner of his kiln for Mom. If ever I needed my point and
shoot. I wonder if thats what I look like when "in the frenzy"? We saw
some fine old pieces by Leach, Hamada, and a 9 th. century Chinese
hare's fur shard Jack Foster got from Palmer (or was it Plummer) from
University of Michigan. I'll go into a list of goodies Dart "clayed
foreword" to me but Cedar Heights and Jordon come to mind as do about 90
lbs. of something called Cornwall Stone and 5 lbs. of Michigan Slip.
Don't know what they do so suggestions would be welcome. The best gift
was the 9 11x24x1" kiln shelves. They will come in handy in the front of
the main chamber when the kiln is complete. For now I'll have shelves
for the catinary coming soon.
The main purpose of the road trip was to see Mom. She made lots of
progress organizing her paintings and getting rid of the stuff acquired
at yard sales. Saw a small series of pen drawings she did of Walter in
the nursing home just before he passed. Quite touching. I hope she will
do some new work soon, it's been so long. While there I managed to trim
some Spruces that were too thick round the trunk. Bundled the brush for
the trash pickup by moon light. Went with for Mom's dental in Dearborn
and did a walk about for a smoke and found one of those Astreka Red Pine
trees. Picked up 1/3 a sack in 15 minutes and finished it off the next
day with another tree before leaving. Wish I could have stayed with Mom
longer but still had to load the trailer I stashed at Dart's and head to
Kalamazoo. We ended up adding a bit of extra weight.
I found my buddy Curt's house was dozzered and his phone wasn't working
so I slept in a Meijer's parking lot till the next day when I could find
my daughter and their new house. My granddaughter is so cute even if she
was at that shy stage and I am a strange stranger. I don't think there
are many beards on the other side of the family but I did manage
sneaking a smooch. Brynn probably won't remember me right away but we
have years ahead as long as I don't fall out of a tree or the like. They
too have a nice new new house. I'm glad they are out of Kalamazoo into
One more stop at my old friend Jungle's. We met in the Early '70's
through an Art co-op on Michigan Ave. Something to do with painting and
modeling back then and the fellowship now. I have only a few close
friends like Jungle, people like us see eye to eye on spiritual matters.
We know what time of day it is and it's not Miller. he has a couple
students now and one did a painting close up of a Lilly or something and
I thought for a moment I could smell it. Left Jungle some maple syrup.
All to soon had to get back to da U.P.. Missed my turn east of Delton
for hwy. 27 and ended up in Grand f*()^#& Rapids instead of Lansing and
had to do that 100 mile uphill on 131. I thought of giving Bonnie a call
but had had enough and the wind was up, the trailer and van overloaded,
and I was pumped. Then I started seeing all these Astreka pines at the
rest stops. You got it! Picked up another sack along the way. Heck, I
made more in eight days than the last two months. Now its been back to
While downstate I picked up a newer computer with 64 RAM and had to
start it up this last 2 weeks. All that security and update stuff. Its a
lot faster so I can post higher resolution photos in Fotki. I don't have
those open to the public yet so the landscape prints will be up later. I
did add to the "Old Pots" album another page:
I'm done for now, thanks for reading, stay in there.
Norway, Michigan, USA
"Don't forget to get your "where-abouts-are-you" implant chip."
Bonnie Staffel on fri 15 oct 04
Loved the story of your trip, Gary. So very disappointed in your not
stopping by to see me. Rt. 131 is always a quicker bypass going north for
If you don't know what to do with that original Cornwall Stone, really, I
covet it. I had to give up the favorite look of my Cornwall Stone glaze
when my last grain was used. However, if you would like to try my old glaze
using this old CS, I will be happy to share it with you. It has held up
through oxidation and wood firing ^9 through ^12. It has been a satiny soft
white where of course the original Albany Slip comes through as a beautiful
light brown. I still have enough AS however.
I knew Dart many years ago as we all were going through the growing stages
of becoming potters. Wonderful guy. Some of the names of your other
friends sound familiar as our paths probably crossed when I lived near their
area. One of my potter friends had a Foster wheel when he was building
Speaking of meeting people from our past, I had an opening reception at the
Crooked Tree Art Center yesterday for a showing of my recent pit fired large
pots. Had a nice crowd but one of the highlights was this fellow I didn't
recognize, duh!!! He had worked for us while in high school mixing our
clay. He was a budding artist at that time and my then husband mentored
him through his struggling early years of painting. The white beard on this
young man hid my remembered face. Then another surprise was a fellow I
recognized immediately as a former school mate from Maumee High School.
Geesh, that was from 1939. We even lived in the same neighborhood growing
up and attended the free Saturday morning kids classes at the Toledo Art
Museum. He had retired up north near here. Another couple from my past was
a fellow potter who filled in for me in my studio when I was recovering from
a bout with cancer in the early 70's. Many other old customers and friends
came and we loved recalling our memories of their pot collections as well as
about visits to my old studio.
Potters Council member
Gary, There is an open invitation for a visit from you next time you fly by.
Just cut over to Route 31, goes by within a few blocks of where I live.
GaryNavarre on sat 16 oct 04
"Bonnie Staffel" wrote
> Loved the story of your trip, Gary. So very disappointed in your not
> stopping by to see me. Rt. 131 is always a quicker bypass going north for
After the long uphill from G.R. I made a right at Mancelona and rembered
I use to get off 131 at 72 and stoped at Upper Manistee River state park
That last uphill East out of Mancelona was a pisser but I took my time and
> If you don't know what to do with that original Cornwall Stone, really, I
> covet it. I had to give up the favorite look of my Cornwall Stone glaze
> when my last grain was used. However, if you would like to try my old
> using this old CS, I will be happy to share it with you. It has held up
> through oxidation and wood firing ^9 through ^12. It has been a satiny
> white where of course the original Albany Slip comes through as a
> light brown. I still have enough AS however.
Sure, thanks, some proven recipe would be a good place to start. Is this
Leach calls Cornish Stone? I suppose I could use it as the feldspar in the
Bouverie slip-glaze I use as a base for oxides.
I should still have some Albany in storage. While downstate I tryed to get
a hold of
Karen but she wasn't home. I managed to peek in the barn and the stash
burried in hay and equipment. Outside it looks like the brick avengers made
with more than I expected. Oh well, that lightens my next load, but still
it's not nice
to take advantage of old men and drunks when they can't see what's going on.
> I knew Dart many years ago as we all were going through the growing stages
> of becoming potters. Wonderful guy. Some of the names of your other
> friends sound familiar as our paths probably crossed when I lived near
> area. One of my potter friends had a Foster wheel when he was building
I began throwing on a Foster in high school. They were metal but the
were wood. You should have seen the reaction of my girlfriend and some of
friends when I centered and caused the clay to rise up to wheel wedge once
centering. That's why you shouldn't let boys study Art after 6 th. grade.
It's a good
way to meet girls. My last wife fell for that line "Wanna come over and see
Worked just about every time. Times have changed! Besides I'm not the reuae
> Warm regards,
> Bonnie Staffel
> Gary, There is an open invitation for a visit from you next time you fly
> Just cut over to Route 31, goes by within a few blocks of where I live.
That's not too far from the bridge, be a good stop half way, thanks. Do
ever order from Rovin? They said shipping pallet rate to the bridge is
if there is a business that can receive it. I've thought of using Minnisota
west of me as there would be no bridge fee. Of course if I remember to keep
simple and use what is at hand I might not have to purchase much more to go
I'm thinking with this next "Dance with Muse".
G. in Da U.P.
Norway, Michigan, USA