Imagine…you get up before the crack and take your youngest to a class he was gifted for Christmas. It’s an 8 hours class, and with it being 1 ½ hours to get there, you decide the best thing to do instead of driving back and forth is to dress better than troll under a bridge and go tool around the area, do some shopping, have a me day.
You get to the destination, thinking you’re going to drop him off and then hightail it out of there, but before you can get to hightailing the instructor asks you what you’re plans are for the day. Hmmmmm…shopping? Moonshine tasting? Then he says how about stay and take the class. They have an opening. I said I’m dressed for shopping and wearing a white shirt. Instructor says there’s shirts up front and go grab one to change into. I said although I want to learn, I don’t figure Young’un would want his ‘ole mom cramping his style. Instructor says he’ll put us on opposite ends of the work area and we won’t even need to look at each other if we don’t want to. I said they wouldn’t have been planning on me for lunch and didn’t want to impose. He says there’ll be plenty of food. I mean really, how could I say no? Besides, I had truly really really reeeeally wanted to learn anyway. Did I mention this was a beginning blacksmithing class? Well, it was a blacksmithing class.
Next thing you know, I’ve changed my shirt and am sitting down with Youn’gun, ready to learn about being a blacksmith. Yes, we sat down together. We even worked together throughout the whole day, his choice, too. I have got to tell you, I was absolutely captivated. From beginning to end, my mind was just a whirlwind of ideas. Not only that, it was absolutely amazing listening to Doug Lockhart talk about how being a blacksmith had become his passion. It was amazing hearing how his children are following in his footsteps, how they work together, how his love of creating things has found a home inside them, too.
I’m not going to lie, I was nervous when it came to the actual making portion of the program. No, not the heat from the forge or hitting something with a hammer. It was the fact that I was learning something up front and center with one of our kids, that we were learning together. We were both in the same novice boat wearing the same lifejacket of inexperience, learning something we were both interested in.
Let me tell you, if you’ve not had the opportunity to learn the basics of a skill that’s caught your interest, do it. Take the plunge. Don’t let something hold you back. I could have told Doug no, I’ll do it another day, chancing that day never came about. I could have missed the opportunity to spend the day with our youngest learning something awesome and new. Without a doubt I would have spent the day looking for things to do to keep me busy all by myself, wishing I would have said yes. See where I’m going with this? Let me put it another way…get off your butt, stop making excuses, and do it. You never know where the experience may lead.
So there you have it folks. Young’un and I are now the proud owners of several types of hooks we made together. We left the Lockhart family and their Southern Ohio School of Blacksmithing that day feeling proud and excited about our accomplishments. Now we need to find ourselves some equipment of our own to practice what we’ve learned. We came home telling Hon we need to find an anvil…we need to find a forge…and hammers and tongs… Our eyes have been opened to some truly cool and creative things we can make from a piece of metal that we’d not have thought about before. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I know, it's been a super long time since you've heard from me. Don't judge. There's still a ton of stories in my head just busting to get out and one day you may find them here. Kind of like the skunk in the barn. I swear that little stinker's just waiting for an opportune time to do a little something, too. In the meantime, my heart is bursting with pride and I want to share.
It's no secret how proud I am of each of our sons. Hon and I are truly blessed. It's amazing how quickly time has flown and they're young adults or on the cusp of adulthood. Our Young'un is 16, Kid is 18, and Eldest is 21. They are so different from each other, yet the same in other ways, like pursuing their dreams, conquering their fears, and finding their way in the big wild world.
If you've been around my blog for a while, you may remember after we first moved here one of my dreams had been to turn our little silo into a space for my ever growing collection of looms, fibers, spinning wheels, and the like. I hadn't gotten to it in the 11 years we've been here now, but figured some day I'd get to it. As I've gotten older...and no, I'm not old...50 and on the cusp of 51 is still a spring chicken far as I'm concerned... Anway, as I've gotten older, I've slowed down with the fiber arts, enjoying it immensely still, but at my own pace. I still shear, clean, spin, knit, weave, demonstrate... That's not changing, but I've mellowed.
Some time ago Eldest mentioned wanting to give making pottery a go. Because I'm worse than a dog on a bone when it comes to some things, I pursued the possibility. When Will (aka Eldest) turned 21 this past July, Hon and I gifted him some pottery lessons at a great little church-run pottery shop in Chillicothe, The Potter's House. I met the wonderful volunteer manager, Rachel, of Biers Run Mudd, there. The Potter's House is completely run by volunteers, by the way. You should check them out if you haven't. Their mission is amazing. Anway, before I knew it, I walked out of there, gift certificate in hand for pottery lessons...then walked right next door to the stained glass shop to get myself into trouble with a future project for myself, but that's another story.
Long of the short of it, Will has become an incredible potter. Hon and I are absolutely amazed at the talent that has poured out of him. He goes to his job at 3:00 a.m. and then heads over to the Potter's House afterwards to spend time at the wheel...or the kiln...or the glaze...whatever it is mudslingers do at any given stage of their craft. We're still in awe that he makes his own glazes, instead buying pre-made ones. He even gives lessons.
In talking with Hon about our budding young artist as the months have gone by, I revisited my goals, looked at what's important to me vs. what's still important but not quite so much. I decided as much as the little silo redo into a Sharon-silo was a dream, it WAS a dream. It was time to let it go and hand over the possibilities of the space to Will if he wanted it. He had already built himself a lovely little greenhouse last summer just off the back of our home, so I had no qualms over whether he was up to the task if he had interest in conquering the silo. Let me tell you, the man has plans!
Will has been cleaning the little silo up and out and looking for equipment he needs to further his dream. Just the thought of the snakes I've encountered in there over the years gives me a bit of a shudder. There's painting to be done, electric to be hooked up, and who knows what else in the works for the space. It's real small, but will be an amazing place for him to get his creativity on.
Hon and I are super proud of how Will has taken a hold of his dream and not let go. He's sold his pottery at craft and artisan shows, and is going to be participating at a juried artisan show/sale in Cincinnati next weekend. He's sold pots to the wonderful gal at Wild Roots in Chillicothe and has pottery for sale at The Potter's House (along with many other amazing artists). Tom Johnson of Two Roasting Joe's and Livy Cakes, a new coffee shop and bakery he's opened up with his daughter in Chillicothe, has some of his mugs for sale. Even the fantastic little hardware store in town, Frankfort Hardware, carries some crocks that they special ordered from Will. He's sold hand crafted bonsai pots (Will's into bonsai, too, by the way) and various other pieces to folks through word-of-mouth and the internet. It just amazes me how he has bloomed and it's exciting to see him grow!
So, there you have it folks. Trust me, I could go on and on. Will's one of our kids, so my long-windedness knows no bounds. Last week he settled on a name for his business, by the way. Little Silo Pottery. Gives me happy tears and makes my heart swell with joy knowing our eldest young man is putting his creative stamp on the big wild world. Until the next story, which may come sooner than you think... Smiling & Waving, Sharon