Sunday, August 29, 2010

Heroes and Luck

What is nearest to my wheel are three things I hold dear to my heart. I’ve had these for the last couple of years, but what they mean I’ve carried for most of my life.

My first hero is a runner from Eugene, Oregon, named Steve Prefontaine (nice stache). I grew up in Roseburg, Oregon, about 60 miles south of Eugene. During high school I ran the 3000, and 5000 meter races. When I first learned of Prefontaine I was immediately hooked. It’s not that I wanted to be him, but I could relate and respect what he was going through as a runner, just like I was. There’s a quote on this picture that reads, “A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts”. You just might know about Steve and the type of man he was towards the end of his life. I think my next hero and Steve had similar personalities.

My second hero is Pete Voulkos. Like Steve, Voulkos pushed the limits of what he was committed to. He went further and faster then anybody had yet to do. He’s also a local for me here in Helena. I suppose I have an affinity to the local team. When I can, I go to garage sales, estate sales, or the second hand stores around town, always hoping for that lonesome Voulkos pot sitting in the corner with 60 years of dust on top of it. I know they’re out here… Voulkos made a lot of amazing pots while at the Bray. The progression of his work is what I like most about him though. To see that progression of work and how his ideas and thoughts changed is so inspiring. Like Steve, I don’t want to be or make a Voulkos pot. But I can take parts of what they are, or were and aspire to reach as high.

The last part of my trifecta of inspiration comes down to plain old Irish Luck. I’m more Scottish then Irish (I do love to drink though), but who cares anyway? I have a red beard..and that’s enough for me. I believe that a lot of what happens to us, just happens and there’s no real reason behind it. I don’t believe in predestination or something else out there controlling my future. It’s not that I believe in Luck, I just see it as an adjective to what happens, good or bad. Basically, Luck is just what it is- nothing and everything. The best way to describe Luck is to call it “random”. It’s not controlled by odds or anything like that. I had to come to realize that there are just some things out there we have no control over… and not having that control is a part of what makes our existence so right.

I think of these things when I work sometimes. Now that Crista and I have set up our new studio I found these little pictures in a box and put them back near the wheel. I’m excited to get to work again..and just make my own pots when I can.


  1. my newest shop wall quote...."fail harder". i have to work to push the envelope sometimes...especially when trying to get inventory on the shelves to pay the bills. i only saw voulkos the bray's 50th celebration. to have him, ken ferguson and rudy autio in the same room was overwhelming.
    enjoy your new studio.

  2. thanks, heidi. i already got some pots made... feels good. you're lucky you saw those guy together.. that would have been great. i went to a rollingstones concert a few years back and had the super awesome pleasure of staying at Autio's house that night. although Rudy wasn't feeling that social..his wife sure was hospitable.