True Story

I was up in Minnesota for Christmas vacation with my family in 2006 when my friend Jill calls me.

“How many of those tree bowls did you make?” she asks me.

“Well, about 10 or so,” I say, “why?”

“Just wondering.”

A few days later we are talking again,

“Do you sign all your work?”

“Yes, inside the base.”

“How much do you usually charge for one of those tree bowls?”

“Oh around $120 if it’s flawless. Why? What’s this all about? Did you want to buy one for your mom?”

“Well…. my mom says I shouldn’t tell you but my husband says I should…”

“Oh my gosh, just tell me. What?”

“I ….. found one.”

“What? one of my tree bowls?”

“Yes. ”

I rapidly run through the various bowls and where they went to- one was donated for something…”Found it? where? Salvation Army? Discount Village?”


“Well where then?”

“Marshalls. ”

“WHAT? Really? Marshalls??”

“Yup, Marshalls. I wouldn’t even let them wrap it up, I carried it home in my arms.”

“How much was it?”

“I don’t want to tell you.”

“Come on!”


So then I sent her the following email including a photo of a tree bowl I had sold the year before to someone who was going to give it as a wedding gift:

Dear Tree Bowl Owner,

Welcome! You are one of a very very elite few to own a limited edition (only 10 made!) custom made Tree Bowl.

Your Tree Bowl is priceless. Each one is individually hand made and carved by acclaimed artist, Glynnis Lessing.

Your Tree Bowl has a life-time warranty available only from Glynnis Lessing. This entitles you to free replacement or repair should any flaws appear in your Tree Bowl.

Note: this warranty only available to original owner who has purchased directly from Glynnis Lessing .

Your Tree Bowl is dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. Please use with care and you will be able to enjoy your Tree Bowl for your entire life.


and she sends me back a photo of the one she bought.

Here is that photo.


Same bowl.

We will never ever know the exact story of how that piece, individually carved and signed, ended up in Marshall’s for $14.99

But it keeps me humble.

Wedging: it’s not about air bubbles!

Wedging. Who writes about wedging?

Isn’t it to get the air bubbles out? (NO!) And wedging is one of those zen practices that supposedly take 3 years to learn to do right?

Or, is it, in my experience, to get an internal coil going in your clay so that when you are throwing and you start to center on the wheel, your clay doesn’t fight you and centers up easily?

Why we wedge is something many potters know or have known throughout time but is still something I think should be discussed again; especially for art educators out there.

For years and years