--  a podcast and website dedicated to anecdotal cooking as expressed through my poetry and foodstuff --  a podcast and website dedicated to anecdotal cooking as expressed through my poetry and foodstuff listings.
1. Getting There/Arrival
2. Bed & Breakfast
3. Humble Adobe
4. Haircut
5. O'Keeffe/Lorraine
6. Cathedral Basilica
7. Los Alamos
    and Fuller Lodge
8. Santa Clara
9. Magic/Abstract
10. A Convenient Lunch
11. Moving Along
      Vacation Over

Travel Portrait 08: Santa Clara
March 16, 2007

Santa Clara
Friday, March 16, 2007, 10:19:30 AM

As recommended, I stopped off in Santa Clara. The objective was to find some pottery.

I pulled into the parking lot of the first roadside gallery that had an "Open" sign with the front door open.

Santa Clara Road Sign

I entered the gallery (which was more of a shop) and was greeted by the son of the chief artist. An artist himself, the son first detailed the lineage of the pottery located in the counter-top display case. Then he proceeded with his heritage that was displayed in the glass case behind my right shoulder.

My budget did not grant me Chief status. The pottery--the ornate symbolic detail etched into the kilned clay, plus the fire-accented coloring set precisely within the etched lines, made his asking price a steal.

Me, ever so the Modernist, lost interest in the symbolism that emanated from the spirited pottery.

Santa Clara Home

I turned around and spotted two plain, small, black vases.

"My nieces," he claimed. He shared with me their ages as represented in the height of the vases.

Both were appealing. I settled on the smaller of the two. The vase was offset, but globular, whereas the other vase was oblong and prissy. The vase I purchased reminded me of an Alvar Aalto golden original--a "great glob of glass."

Yes, I purchased the work of a twelve year old--and I probably paid too much. But what I purchased was not the artifact, but part of the Chief's heritage.

While finalizing the transaction, I peered to the left. Placed atop an office desk were four plain black vases.

"How much for those," I asked rabidly with (Isamu) Noguchi in my mind.

He sighed distressed knowing that he was going to miss an opportunity.

"Those aren't for sale yet," explaining the reasons why.

Me, in full gallery must-have mode as if I was on a First Friday hop in Old City, Philadelphia, inquired about the Chief's pottery technique. I started with the basics:

"What's this made out of?" (Duh!)

"The red clay from the land."

"And the kiln process?"

"The clay, once molded by hand, is placed in a .... To get the black color ... is used. To etch ... is used. To get the different colors involves ...."

I sighed very pleased. The Chief knows his pottery and he has taught his son well--and the tradition is being passed along to his nieces.

I shook his hand in gratitude. He accepted my earnestness, but stood petrified and looked away as if history was being replayed.

I secured my bubble-wrapped purchase in the trunk of my rental. Got into the car, put the key into the ignition.

As I turned the key, I thought to myself, "Pilgrim."


Sata Clara Landscape

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Copyright © 2007 by Edward K. Brown II, All Rights Reserved