October 20, 2017


In our 35 years in the pottery business, having travelled all over the United States doing art shows, we've seen and done a lot. There have been a few things that I would really prefer not to experience again. Two of the most difficult experiences happened pretty close to home. We were doing a three day show at Teton Village in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At the end of the second day, we closed up and put our side curtains up around our booth, and propped up the racks to protect them from getting bumped into and falling over. When we returned the next morning to prepare for the last day of the show, we discovered a strong wind had come through. Basically, our side curtains had acted like a sail, blowing into our racks and toppling two of the three racks. Pottery was strewn everywhere. After we cleaned everything up and reset our shelves, we still had a bit of pottery to sell. We inventoried the broken pottery and turned a claim into our insurance company. Because we didn't have a store in those days, and were totally dependent on our shows, we carried a disaster policy. Thankfully, we received a check for around $3000, and had very little pottery to pack up and bring home. 

The second unfortunate incident occurred the only time we did a show in Big Sky, about five years ago. We had taken pottery and some treats from the Coffee Pot as well. It was a gorgeous day, and everyone was in high spirits. We had just set our racks up and people started arriving for the show, when a little black cloud appeared over the mountains from the southwest. No big deal. Soon the cloud got bigger, and the whole southwestern sky turned black. The wind picked up and we yanked the top off of our canopy tent. People ran in to help us hold onto our shelves and canopy frame, and to pull pottery off our racks, but a microburst blew over two thirds of the pottery racks before we could it taken down. It began to downpour and all of our food was ruined. We ran to the car to wait it out and within twenty minutes, the storm blew over and the sky became blue and it was, again, a gorgeous day. 

There always seems to be a blessing, even in disasters. Folks came running to help us clean up and pack up. It was amazing. Probably a dozen people came with trash cans and brooms, helping us pack up our trailer. Within an hour, you wouldn't have known we had even been there. I'll never forget one family who was helping, with their seven or eight year old son. The boy was complaining that he was afraid he'd hurt himself, and his dad said, "Just pick things up and throw them in the trash. That's what you do to help people who need help." What a good model for life! They've since become customers at Mountain Arts Pottery. 

Considering that in the thirty odd years we drove to shows from California to New York, we haven't had much to complain about, and God has always used the things which were difficult to remind us that He is in charge.

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