Sunday, March 31, 2013

Black Cat Pottery Southwest Michigan Tour

Two garden-themed shows for April were the impetus for a circle tour of Midland, Saugatuck, Glenn, Kalamazoo, Chelsea, Ann Arbor and Northville March 28-29, 2013. What started out as a trip to cover both galleries turned into a trip covering over a half dozen accounts in the southwest Lower Peninsula, all in an attempt to make the most of the gas and my time. The most challenging hurdle proved getting inventories ready for seven accounts (not to mention the daisies I pulled together to drop off to Urban Attic in St. Clair Shores earlier in the week) - a challenge I'm not sure I'm willing to repeat any time soon.

As you can see to the right, that's what the car looked like before loading in the cats to go for boarding, let alone my personal effects. I guess it could have been a bit more full, but not much more! (Good thing my friend Chris Hopp decided to do his own delivery to Midland - I really don't think his work would have fit!)

I headed out shortly before 8:00 am on Thursday to drop the kitties off for their overnight at Harper Woods Veterinarians - getting the cats ready to go is a military maneuver in itself! Then, it was off to Midland. I had four stops to make. I arrived around 10:00am and rendezvoused with Jeanne Calkins, who had messaged me the day before, lamenting her failure to acquire one of my pieces while I was in the area over a month ago and inquiring when I would next be in town - perfect timing, as I was able to personally deliver the piece she wanted. Then, it was on to Serendipity 181 to drop off work for the upcoming garden show and spend a few minutes with Mary Moore - you're going to see a lot of different work there, including Toadstools, Cat Tails, Clytie Masks and Deluxe Sunflowers. Then, on to Monique Scott's to pick up the quilt I had dropped off some weeks before - Monique was good enough to put the binding on a quilt I had pieced (another person did the quilting) in exchange for some pottery.

I had hoped to meet with my friend Debbie Groat for lunch and had brought some empty canning jars with me in anticipation of doing so - but she was in Standish at her grandson's school for a special reading day. (The principal was up on the school's roof in a super-hero outfit, reading a book for the students - something not to be missed.) Luckily, my Master Gardener friend Susan Gaul was available, so we met at the North End Deli for some gyros and homemade ships before I headed off to Saugatuck.

Partial View of the Quilt
About two-and-a-half hours later, I rolled up to Timmel Collection, where I dropped off 21 Baby Daisies, 21 Gerbera Daisies, 21 Deluxe Gerbera Daisies and 24 stakes to go out the garden once Joel has it in shape. (I also dropped off three sets of Embossed Leaf Bowls while there.) I had a great visit with Joel and the dogs and then it was off to At Last in Glenn.

Chuck was ready for me and we exchanged some pieces from last year's stock and loaded him up with Deluxe Sunflowers and some fun Wild Sheep and Farm Animal Tiles before heading on for Kalamazoo.

I had two stops to make once I arrived. Midtown Gallery is having a Garden Show (see my previous post) opening April 5, running through April 27. I unloaded all the work so Terry (Nikil) can set it up one the previous show comes down. Leaving my car in his parking area, I headed across the street to Nature Connection Kalamazoo to meet with Laurie Russell and to stock her up with some leaves (including some very special Sunflower Leaves), Toad Houses, Fairy Houses and Michigan Tiles. In discussing current projects with her, she suggested I talk to Terry about my concept for The Seven Deadly Sins (I'm working on "Gluttony" for the upcoming "Food for Thought" show at Grosse Pointe Art Center). On my way back to my car, I did just that - and it looks like I'll have a place to show that piece once I get it done - so now I have more work to do!

Finally, the end of my day took me to my friends' Julie and Bob Peterson, where I was fed like a queen (dinner was planked salmon with mango avocado salsa, homemade risotto, salad with a delicious baked apple for dessert; breakfast a delicious egg scramble with leftover salsa for breakfast) and slept like a stone. It was here that I was finally able to open up the quilt and get a look at it. (Monique did a beautiful job finishing what I had started four years ago....)

Come morning, it was off to The Garden Mill in Chelsea - a new account, with Hanging Bird Bowls, Toad Houses, Toadstools and one lone Fairy House (more are in the works). Then on to Rovin Ceramics in Ann Arbor to pick up more clay, some glazes and an oddment or two before heading on to Dancing Eye Gallery in Northville, my last delivery (including lunch at Edward's). Before picking up the cats and heading home, I stopped in Plymouth to pick up some bins from the delivery that had been taken down to North Carolina the week before.

When all was said and done, this is how much was left after the trip (deducting the clay and bins that were returned from previous deliveries). Needless to say, it was pretty cool how the car got lighter, and lighter, and lighter as the trip went on...!

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