Stuff that works

I got an ol' pair of boots 
And they fit just right 
I can work all day 
And I can dance all night 
I got an ol' used car 
And it runs just like a top 
I get the feelin' it ain't 
Ever gonna stop- Guy Clark

It was January 1, 2020 at Jugtown Pottery. I went over to see Vernon Owens working on his stand up treadle wheel as he has done every New Year's Eve Day for the past 60 years. 
I usually toast my Dad on Christmas Day with a Newcastle Brown Ale. Vernon toasts his old treadle wheel on the first day of the year. Like the toast to my Dad, Vernon is toasting his old wheel for the tens of thousands of pots he has turned on it and the life it has provided hm.. Notice my use of the southern vernacular turning and not throwing. 
1 of 4 made in 2019
What I love about Jugtown is that it is a working pottery minus all the fancy equipment and tools.
Oh it equipment all right- hammer mill, pug mills, ground hog kilns, car kilns, electric kilns. What I like is the old stuff that still works. 
You can order a baller ( clay opening arm) for probably about $1000 or you can use and old board with a peg drilled in and hinge it to the wall.

Cleverly, Vernon puts sticks on his splash pan to gauge thickness.
The old treadle is of the stand up variety and you stand off to the side like they did in Europe. I asked Vernon the advantage of this and he said you can see the shape of the pot better.  He had an old piece of foam rubber to park his butt against. It must get tiring standing throwing all day long. The pots Vernon throws on New Year's Day are fired in sweet spots in the wood kiln and are signed and marketed as special pots. Last year 2019 he only made four and I got one of them. A sweet little ash glazed jug. This year he made 24 pots.  It don't get too much better than that does it? The tradition of toasting your wheel is also an honourable act. It has worked for you all year long and ya probably never did take a minute to play tribute to it. Stuff that works! People that work! People that work hard  on stuff that works. It don't get much better than that now, does it?
The dirt floor was worn down into a hole from 60 years of toil.


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