Last week, we were lucky enough to have a visiting potter for a couple of blocks during the school day. Born and raised in Greece, Mike learned the craft of pottery as a 14 year old boy and left school three years later to work as a potter full time. In his twenties, when he came to the United States, "with no language", he was discouraged from being a potter but he said he "always had it in his heart". Now, retired, he is back doing what he loves most. We were fortunate to hear his journey as a potter and look through many examples of his work before he demonstrated his techniques on the wheel.
The pottery students enjoyed hearing about his life and watching him create pots in our studio. His techniques are slightly different and students were interested in those differences especially the lazy man's way of making a handle.
When Mr. Piantes told me about his uncle, Mike, and his willingness to visit our classroom, I was thrilled. Then to learn that Mike was the potter behind the dishes at my favorite restaurant, Sweet Basil, made the visit even better. What a treat!