Our museum’s galleries are filled with unique and one of a kind creations, each with a notable history that our visitors may never know. All too often these treasures are passed over with only a slight nod, the visitor unaware of the tenderness that was involved in the making. As a culture, we are so deeply inundated with mass produced trinkets that our eyes must be retrained to catch the truly handmade gifts of patience and skill. As a writer for our museum, it is a pleasure to lift such items out of their settings where they blend so easily as to go unnoticed. When standing tall in the spotlight, I find even the smallest pot can have a story worth telling.
The pottery of Eileen and the late Sid Vernon can be found in collections all over the world, and the attentive visitor will spot their wares throughout our galleries. Vernon Pottery is thrown by hand and extremely well made, reflective of an expert partnership spanning decades. Sid’s masterful eye and Eileen’s delicate precision allowed the duo to work harmoniously, sharing ideas and developing new pieces. In her article, “Behind the Wheel At Vernon Pottery,” Sybil Harp describes the Vernon’s home studio – a converted garage – which allowed the couple to share three of their passions: pottery, animals, and classical music. “Almost every day in the Vernons’ studio, classical music plays on the stereo while a menagerie of animals talk, squawk, chatter, munch and whistle over the hum of the pottery wheels,” writes Harp. She describes the happy goings-on of birds, tortoises, a cat, and even a rescued squirrel, all relaxing in the tranquility of that creative space while Sid and Eileen produced their celebrated salt-glazed pieces. Click here to continue reading a pdf of this article >>