Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Day 5, Part B, Painters and Poets - and POTTERY!

After we left Assisi, Nina, the artist who was teaching the painting workshop, wanted to take us to see one of her favorite places in the area, Grazia Maioliche Art Sas Deruta V Tiberlina, a world-famous ceramics studio. The Grazia family has owned and operated this business since 1500, and they produce a high quality majolica ceramics. I've always loved ceramics, enjoyed playing with it, so YES, I wanted to see it. I had another reason, as well. My son was getting married when I got home, and I had hoped to find something "special" in Italy to give to his precious lady, my future daughter-in-law. Maybe I would find "it" there. And I did. The classic Deruta ceramics were rather pricy, but I was able to find a lovely original, one-of-a-kind pasta bowl, painted by B. Priolo, a ceramics artist, now in her late 80's, and living in San Franscisco. 

Nina leads the way into the studio.

The entry

We got to meet the current owner, who gave us a bit of the history.

Then we began to tour the studio and learn a littel about the process.

I personally love the more modern pieces. 
Wouldn't this be fun to hang on the wall!

The kiln's...I wonder how many pieces they have that blow up? 
That seems to be my experience, especially if it's something I've worked hard on.

We were able to explore the 2nds shop, too. 

From this...

to this.

Artists at work.

How many stages it goes through before it's "done".

The pattern is put on by punching little holes in  paper, 
and sprinkling some kind of powder, 
transfering the design from paper to piece. 
That is if I remember correctly!

Much thanks to Nina for making this adventure possible.

 After a full day, we bussed back to La Romita for a short nap, then dinner, then a writing assignment. Richard's been talking about "show, don't tell" poems since my first retreat with him almost 9 years ago - and I haven't got it yet. As Richard was explaining our assignment, due in two days, he commented, "You're not writing the poem; the poem is writing you." So, I went back to me room and just wrote in my journal asking for a poem. I specifically wrote, "Speak the words I need to hear...surprise me."

And I began to write...I thought I had a pretty good "show me" poem...but there was still something missing, and I didn't know what. I was pretty discouraged, then Richard dug a little deeper, and I wrote another poem about something that was currently going on with me. I don't really want to share that one here, but it worked and broke something loose inside me. Still...there was something there for me in the other poem. I knew it. A few days later, Richard suggested I read it, and a couple of the other poets pointed out some lines that might hold more for me.  I finished (?) the poem this morning? Maybe? I'm still not sure it's a "show, don't tell" poem. I tend toward narrative poems, but this is what I've come up with for now.

It Is A Hot Summer Day

She holds the old screen door open
and invites us into her warm kitchen.
The large round table sits on its heavy pedestal.
The vinyl cloth, stamped with pictures of
Rhode Island red roosters and hens,
hangs almost to the cool linoleum floor.
Large platters of crispy southern fried chicken,
ample bowls of mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn,
a plate of deviled eggs, and her award-winning chocolate sheath cake.
The feast waits.

His piles his plate high with her food.
He never goes back for seconds.

After lunch, the vinyl cloth is removed and the 
old table now stands covered with newspaper.
Scattered on top, bowls of plaster-of-Paris, water, paints, old brushes
and rubber molds.
Gathered around the heavy table, we create:
Colorful mermaids,
angel fish with pouty lips and long flowing fins,
praying hands.

He sleeps in his recliner a room away:
apart, uninvolved, distant.

Her door is open.
Her table is set.
She’s given the invitation.
She waits.

Why is it the men we choose
eat, but don’t feast?
Why is it they choose

to remain detached and unengaged?

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