We have lived in many places in the United States, many of them my favorites like New Mexico and Colorado. However, it was in East Tennessee at the Art and Craft Center in Norris, TN that I found my true calling. When I first observed what most potters made I decided that is not me...bowls, mugs and lots of useful things. I didn't figure they'd need someone else making these items so I switched to animals and Nativity sets. I was very successful there, sold out of three galleries and had some fun.
In the photo above you will see some terracotta-fired figures for the Nativity, some unfired pieces and one that was glazed with color. If you notice, the shepherd is also looking cross-eyed. I took this set to a gallery in Townsend, which is no longer there. I sold out of there with some success.
The gallery was in an old house and I was told to put the figures in the kitchen. Townsend is at the mouth of the Smoky Mountain National Park, separated by a valley from Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg. It was approximately one and a half hours away from where I lived. I received a call the next day to come pick up the set because "Mary looked mean." I drove back and picked up the set and ranted at the owner about the trials Mary and Joseph had trying to find a place to give birth to Jesus and told her if she had been Mary in those times she would not have looked happy either. I left with my head held high.
That same day I placed it in the gallery at the Norris Co-op and it sold right away. The day after that the Townsend gallery owner called me to ask me to bring the set back, she had a buyer. Too bad I told her, the set was sold and advised her I'd never bring her another one.
I have lots of stories like that to tell, but for the moment this is enough, another time I'll post more pieces if I can find the photos, I've never been a good record keeper and certainly never a fan of making symmetrical pieces, but each artist has to do what he or she fells like doing and most of us don't like anyone telling us how to do it or what to make