A Potter’s Freedom


There was something peaceful about being out in the middle of nowhere. Anna stepped out on her porch and looked towards the artfully shaped building that sat about a hundred yards away from her house. It was in the shape of a dodecahedron, with the roof being interlocking solar panels that controlled heat, light, and air conditioning in the summer. It saved on her electricity bills which gave her a little more freedom to fire up her electric kilns whenever she wanted. The building held everything she had ever wanted or needed to make pottery like she often had dreamed about the whole time she had been married.

Taking a long deep breath Anna, with a smile on her face, and a lightness in her heart that had not been there for far too long jogged across to her studio, picked out a bag a clay form her storage area and began her day throwing whatever she wanted, as much as she wanted.

The knock on her studio door startled her a little, but not enough to ruin what she was working on.

“Go away, whoever you are.”

The laugh, soft, but deep had her looking up and smiling.

“Shanna! When did you get here?” Anna turned off the wheel, wiped her hands as best as she could on the towel that was now full of a mix of wet and dry clay.

“I came to see you, dummy.” Shanna laughed as Anna approached and without thinking, pulled her into a hug. “I’ve missed you.”

“Yeah, well I think you left some of you all over me.” Shanna unrestrained laughter had Anna pulling back and laughing as well. “You better be glad that I don’t give two shits about these jeans and my t-shirt. If I had been wearing one of my Dolce and Gabanna, you would be in trouble missy.”

Anna bent over laughing so hard she almost hurt herself.

“You, Shanna Westland, have never in all your life owned anything Dolce and Gabbana.”

“I beg your pardon, there was that pair of shoes I picked up in Mexico. They swore up and down they were the genuine article.” The slight southern twang Shanna let slip into her voice had Anna shaking her head.

“Yeah, more like Dolce and Garbage. Come on, I have some fresh ice tea and some sandwiches already made up for when I decided to take a break. I might even have a lemon square or two.”

“You are terrible for my waistline, woman!”

“I know.” The two old friends linked arms together and walked towards the house where Anna served the tea and plated up the sandwiches, some fresh raw vegetables, some grapes, and the aforementioned lemon squares. She took the large tray out to the back porch where a latticework metal bistro set graced the porch. The chairs had deep, thick cushions that were extremely comfortable to sit on for hours on end. The sun was high, but not as hot as it had been in the late summer. A mild breeze blew around them as the shade of the roof helped protect them from the sun.

“Now, tell me what brings you all the way out here to back end of nowhere?”

“I think you just might have a show. Tucker Peterson, the owner of that gallery over in Colorado that you liked? He’s looking for some new artists and I just happened to be in, and I just happened to show him pictures of some of the things you’ve sent to me over the last year. He liked what he saw. A lot. He wants to meet you and see what else you’ve got.”

Anna laughed because she had a whole shed full of stuff she has thrown or sculpted over the last year. She didn’t really have any intention of selling at any gallery. She was considering some of the craft and art fairs around the state of Wyoming and lower part of Montana. A gallery show was a whole other complication she wasn’t sure if she was ready for.

“Anna, darlin’ it’s time you come out of hiding. You are extraordinarily talented. You always have been. You’ve never had a chance to find your niche or soar like you should. Just…I ask that you just meet with Tucker, you never know, he just might surprise you.”

And that was what Anna was afraid of.

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