Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lexington/Rockbridge Studio Tour: 10 to 5 April 21

When I heard that eleven artists and craftspeople would be opening their studios to the public, I thought a tour sounded like an interesting way to occupy a Saturday. I figured if I got started a little before ten, I'd be back home by 3:30 or 4:00. The brochure promised a 20-mile road trip.
I began on schedule, parking at the Lexington Inn Restaurant and running out to Thorn Hill Farm, where Bill Johnston has his pottery studio, number 11 on the brochure's nice map. I think 20 cars filled his lane. One of his assistants stamped my Studio Lotto Card (visit all 11 and you might win $300).

I viewed his and a guest artist's works, then aimed for number 10, another pottery studio, this one owned by a friend, Lee Taylor. A little road-side emergency, in a pine forest, began a day of crime. Then, I turned onto his road and committed a second.
What to do? By this time, I was sopping wet. I didn't have a towel. I decided, heck with the stupid sign.

Here he is. Darn, I didn't get a full body shot to show the kilt he was wearing, A kilt and a kiln?
Lee had two guest artists at his studio. Here's one. I realize the picture's not so great, but Kitty (Tilson) and I played violins a couple years together in the "Three Little Old Ladies Quartet." She's been making baskets for many years, but she didn't start this bunch until November. She said she began making one a day, then as time passed she got faster and faster. I hope I look that young when I'm over eighty.
Okay, here's how you get home when Buffalo Creek's too high. Check out the swinging bridge!
On the other hand, you've got to feel bad for these guys. They're not going to be grinding any flour until the creek's way up.
Now let me tell you how I cheated. Elizabeth Sauder said I could knock 7 miles off the trip if I ran through the woods instead of traveling the roads. (By the way, I entered this run on "Map My Run" (it's a website for runners), which shows that cutting off 7 still left me with 26 miles.) Forget what the brochure said. Here's the old road through the woods.
"Now why are you including this lousy shot?" says Virginia.
Because the shiny copper roof on that log cabin reminded me of the people who stopped to photograph our new roof several years ago. New copper roofs look like giant jewels.

Soon after that shot was taken, the sky turned gray and began making me even wetter. By Susan Harb's (number 6), I was completely soaked. As I walked into her gallery, she handed me about ten paper towels. Here's Thom checking out her mud brick oven. He has almost finished building a Pompeii brick oven at his place.
About ten 'til five I finally reached Gallery Number 1. As I left, Laurie told her husband, Craig, I ran the thing. "Nice job," he said, thinking she meant I'd been in charge of the Studio Tour. Nice job, whoever you are.


  1. When I said to one of the artists, "why can't James drive to all the studios like normal people", he said, "Karen, you and are far from normal". I didn't mean me. And really, I don't think you're even close to normal, James. That's why I love you. Who wants normal?

  2. You are amazing but if you had run one mile up to see the sheep shearing and fiber art I could have told you how to knock a few more miles off the loop. Next year maybe I will print out a runners map of the studio tour. Think there will be any interest?

  3. That would be good for many folks. We crazies are delighted that the run worked out to a marathon (plus a little).