It used to be the "Norm"

I'm listing what were the hopes for a long studio life for my old buddy Normie Wheeler. We all hope we will enter our sunset years with our heads nodding and our wheels turning ever so slowly.  I don't know anyone that retires from pottery because they have something better to do. Sometimes it's health as in the case of Norm. The old body just won't do what the mind wants it to do. A life time of hard core athletics has left Norm painfully arthritic.
Norm is passing his wood kiln along to a couple of my mentee's that have a promising future. Sorry to see Norm go just when there seems to be a prairie fire of wood kilns being built across the province and the nation. Wood firing seems to be finally catching fire.  I'm sure he'll turn up to toss sticks.
When I built my wood kiln some 38 years ago there were few.  Ruth McKinley and a guy named Larry Davidson that made great pots. The market wasn't ready for his wood fired pots and he too left the bizz to become one of the most noted gardeners in the country.
The best pots in my 65 year history are being made today.  The quality of wood firing has advanced leap years in such a short time. One can lament on the great wood pots of history but I'm going to give a shout out to those making pots today. There are some great makers coming up and some of the oldies are still stepping up to the plate.
Sorry to see ya go Norm. Check out Norm's dough mixer. Who today makes their own clay??? 38 years ago it used to be the "norm". My uncle Jimmie used to say why would you pay for someone to add water.  You're paying for water!!! Best wishes, Norm.  Bon feu!


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