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Archive for October, 2015

Visit with Ron Meyer’s

Last week I had the privilege to spend a few days with one of my mentors Ron Meyers from the University of Georgia. I first met Ron in 1974 when I took his beginning pottery class at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. I was an 18 year old freshman having just started college that summer. I don’t remember any specific revelations about his class but I knew I loved working in clay even though my major at the time was Forestry. In Ron’s class I remember we made a coil piece, a slab piece, and that we had to make a piece that had to tell a story. I remember one critique Ron was giving constructive criticism about my work and that I was surprised later that I had made a C on the assignment. I remember I was upset but at the same time it made me want to work harder, improve, and listen more closely during critiques. A year and half later I changed my major from Forestry to Ceramics and Ron became my advisor. What a wise man he was then and what a wise man he is today. I remember he treated you with respect and kindness. He made college fun where we used to have pot luck get-togethers getting to know Ron better and the other ceramic majors. I remember once going to his house and I was looking at some of his work and I saw a covered jar and I told him I liked it. He said, “You can have it.” I was shocked that he would just give me something he had made. I have since tried to have this same giving attitude with my students by giving them pots I have made. Another thing Ron did was when Linda and I got married he gave his a large platter with our names on it for a wedding present. I have done the same for many of my students.
On this recent visit I was able to spend three days with him and his wife of many years Hester. Hester, like Ron, is a kind soul. I told Ron I just wanted to hang out and gain some wisdom. He said that he wasn’t sure if I could get that in three days. I think I did. Ron let me stay at his home. He has a beautiful space where he has an extra bed above his art studio. There is something about sleeping above his studio that is special. He has finished pots everywhere. I counted fifty pots just in the sleeping area. He must have had another 200 in his studio from coffee cups, to large and small platter’s, bottles, and covered jars. Outside his studio was shelving filled with another 50 pots. He even built a little building close-by called the Museum of Hester where he has many more of his pots and pots from others he has collected over the years. Looking at his richly decorated pots for these three days was inspiring. I saw rats, birds, rabbits, naked women, fish, owls, frogs, etc on richly colored backgrounds staring back at me. They were all drawn and painted with energy and expression. He calls them his “suspicious characters” kind of like from a story in a children’s book. They all have unique facial expressions. For two days Ron made me a breakfast consisting of a piece of bacon and an egg put in a torn out hole of a piece of rye bread. He calls them “Toad in a hole.” I told him it was like a gourmet chef had made it. He first made Linda and I one of these on our honeymoon when we stopped by to see him at his summer home in Irving, NY. You see that is Ron, come by and visit us on your honeymoon. I can’t thank him enough for being a great mentor and treating me like one of his family.

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