While my wife, Susan, and I were in Santa Cruz celebrating our 30th anniversary, we attended a new show at the Museum of Art and History (www.mah.org). The exhibit was on the Big Creek Pottery School in Davenport. Opened by Al Johnsen and Bruce and Marsha McDougal in 1968, it flourished as a workshop oriented residential learning community until 1983. During 50 workshops, the school offered an enlightened style of education focused on making functional, wheel-thrown pottery from start to finish. The museum showed many works by the workshop presenters and some wonderful photos. The Big Creek Pottery, which Susan and I visited in the 1980, was a rather magical environment: a place for a life learning experience, a place to live and learn from others, build a community and solve problems......ahhh, those were the times!
One of my art heroes, Daniel Rhodes has several sculptures there at MAH. Rhodes taught for 25 years at the NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and at UCSC (1977-1980). He was an authority on ceramic techniques, gave workshops regularly, and wrote several books. Clay and Glazes for the Potter is still one of my key reference books.