Friday, September 4, 2015

Loss for Words.


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I am never usually at a loss for words whether you like what I have to say or whether it ruffles your feathers. Today after a week of  very hot wood firing I’m sitting here in The Cactus Lounge speechless.
Many of you read the FB post by my long time friend Robin “Grass” Hopper entitled “The Last Post”.  I had been sworn to secrecy so I have been silent and true to my friend. Grass has had bad health for the past 4 years and just this past week was diagnosed with liver cancer and a blood clot on his lung caused by the tumor.  Like a good British soldier he is taking it on his chest and not his back. 
What to say??????? Grass has taught more of us than any teacher I know through his books, DVD’s and exhausting workshop history.  His books are musts in every potter’s library. His prolific making of great pots could line the Thames River up and down on both sides.
It was some 40 years ago as a student I went to a farewell party for Grass as he left Academia in Ontario to head west young man to start a pottery on Vancouver Island. To think I an eager unknown student  would be asked to say a few words brings a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat.   The Grass is still green side up and I hope I will get to keep mowing it as I have for more than 4 decades.  I really must be tired as I know not what else to say except  I love ya, Bro! Cya in September! You promised your killer seafood chowder surrounded by Harry Davis dinnerware and I’m holding it to ya! Even I don’t like reading me today!  T
as one of a group of unknown students that might some day have to write a final farewell brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat.

5 comments:

Bill Schran said...

Tony,
Had breakfast with Mel and Robin a few NCECA's ago, probably the last one Robin attended. We spoke about his health and how he had given up clay for gardening. At that time he was not doing well and wondered if there was more going on that he wasn't talking about. I read his last posting on FB and just said to myself this is not good.
I also have learned much from Robin though his books and videos. He's helped me with information to be a better teacher.

Craig Martell said...

I saw Robin's last post on Facebook. It was eloquent and heartfelt. I sincerely wish him peace.

Irene A. Lawson said...

I saw Robin in July, had a nice chat after my week at MISSA, roamed the garden and bought a nice pot "for my husband", haha. Robin still had a twinkle and enjoyed the company for a while! It was a nice visit and a treat for me.

Two weeks ago I took my 93 year old mother and two sisters to visit Robin's garden. He came out to the gallery to say hello, shared his new challenge and went back to the house to rest. Sadly he was not strong enough to visit, but we visited with Judi and walked away with pots going to Chicago, Florida, and Washington State. I met Robin later than most of you but he treated me like he had known me for a long time. His books, videos, etc. have helped me enormously, Making Marks was a life changer for me.

Thanks for the post, Tony.

smartcat said...

Thanks for the thoughts and words. I kind of expected that it was something bad.
His writing and all have been part of my life for years, but it was his year long blog that was important to me.
I am just sad that I never got to do a workshop with him.

Irene Grabner said...

I was lucky to do a workshop with him many years ago at Northmount Pleasant art center in Calgary. Loved the workshop and still have my notes I hope. I think it was around 1991. My thoughts are with him at this trying time.