Before it gets crazy


I had a moment to head north before my summer shows, and before i’ll spend every waking hour next to my kiln. It’s also a birthday trip-conveniently before tourist season. I love going places before majority of the summer visitors arrive, before the lines and heat. Much more my style.

My first stop was at Gwen Frostic Prints located in Benzonia, Michigan. I received a note set of hers when I was a child as a gift and have loved her work since. I used to send dollars and change through the mail to buy notecard sets! That was over 20 years ago now! Here is what I bought today: a beautiful calendar, a couple for next year, note pad and cards. The calendar will get hung in the studio.

Her work resonates with me, and it’s fairly obvious to see inspiration in my pottery and decorative work. There’s a sparseness to her prints, some are silhouettes, others with minimal background or just a color shift on a flat plate. I really thought about this today and it makes complete visual sense. When I come across a flower such as a trillium or a wild bird like a heron, I see nothing else. I don’t remember the surrounding terrain, the background. Her work is almost like botanical illustrations, showing the viewer the necessary and the immense beauty in singular things. That’s what you remember long after a trip to the woods or the lake.

The shop at Gwen Frostic Prints in Benzonia, Michigan
The indoor waterfall at Gwen Frostic Prints in Benzonia, Michigan

Sporck Tileart in Leeland was another stop I had to make today. Sporck Tileart is the shop in Fishtown filled with the work of Leif Sporck. He is a ceramic artist based on the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan. I’ve visited both the Fishtown location and Sutton’s Bay shop- they are both musts if you are traveling in the area and looking to take a bit of Northern Michigan home with you! Being a fly fisherman, this Brown Trout is the perfect addition to my collection!

Brown Trout by Leif Sporck

Falling Waters Lodge is where I rested my head for the last few days, it’s super quiet right now, all I can hear is the water from the dam. This is my first time staying here and I would definitely come back. There’s a little bridge right from the lodge to Fishtown, which is super cute and convenient.

A cup of coffee and a great view is all you need
View of the dam from Falling Waters Lodge

Well tomorrow i’m back on the road, and back to real life. I’ll be picking up a load of clay and possibly new equipment at Runyan’s on the way home. Hopefully i’ll be able to make it back up here after life settles down, and before the snow flies.

Until next time – K