Posted in Travel

Hometown Travel Tips to Galleries & Studios

GIFT or SOUVENIR?

I found a treasured hand-thrown, fired piece of pottery at the Phoenix Fired Art studio in downtown Joplin, Missouri, my husband’s hometown, when traveling there year before last. I bought it as a souvenir, but it would have made a lovely gift, too. The fluted pottery dish serves as perfect four-person pie plate (it is five inches wide across the bottom); or as a fruit bowl full of cherries or berries.

I enjoy shopping where I can experience the art and artisans. I like this piece particularly because it is pretty, goes in my BestViewOfPiePlatekitchen nicely, and is uniquely useful.

William Morris, textile designer, associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement in the 1800s, offered wise advice on decorations for the home. “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

That fits this lovely and practical piece of pottery.

SHOPPING FOR GIFTS or FOR EXPERIENCES? 

GeoffShowingHisArtFrom the perspective of travel, I think of this as a perfect travel tip how to enjoy it in simple and uncomplicated ways. Explore, shop, view the art, visit the artist, and decide whether to make a purchase. That was the case at the Phoenix Fired Art studio.

Geoffrey Kunkler is both artist and studio manager. He enjoyed showing off his work, pointing out other artists’ work that he sells in the studio, Before&After.IMG_20150516_131652_641and explaining the process of his style versus other potters.

See inside his studio on his Phoenix Fired Art facebook page.

His small pie plate appealed to me because it was a piece that would make a smaller pie for just four
people or two servings each for my husband, Lynn and me.

HOMETOWN or DESTINATION?

Joplin, Missouri, could be your hometown or your destination. It may be where you visit grandma or a favorite aunt. Or simply serves as a stop along the way to somewhere else.

MY TRAVEL TIPS 

The Phoenix Fired Art staff bubble wrapped it for my trip home in the car. It traveled safely, packed easily because it was small and provided a special memento of my 2014 trip to a recovering Joplin after the 2011 tornado.

DutchApplePieThe pottery is a conversation piece, when I serve our company dessert from this tiny pie plate that allows no leftovers.

Last, but not least, the little plate/bowl reminds me of the experience in a working studio and Geoff the artist, who took the time to visit with me.

I have brought home small art postcards or 8×11 artist renderings of a place visited, such as Laguna Beach, California. In every house since we got married we have hung our prized batik prints that Lynn and I bought on our honeymoon by Diane Tunkel. In 2002 while in Durban, South Africa, I found contemporary pillow covers by Karin Gibson that we have hung with the batiks.

Batiks&PillowCovers

Have you found surprise shopping places that also provided an experience, whether in your hometown or while on a trip? Share those travel tips with me and my followers. We would like to learn about them.

 

 

 

 

 

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Author:

Writer, published author, traveler, blogger, workshop facilitator, spiritual sojourner. Authored coming-of-age travel memoir, At Home in the World: Travel Stories of Growing Up and Growing Away. This story covers my travels at a young age as a result of my involvement with my local church. My relationship with my mother prepares me for my ventures into the world. But I disappoint both family and church by leaving the church. Working on novel about a young woman who travels to India in 1906 to sell her uncle's horses. She loses her brother in route, builds a friendship in India that solidifies her sense of self that she has questioned all her life, and finds a man on board ship who loves her just the way she is but struggles to commit. I live in Texas with the love of my life, husband Lynn, and our Shih Tzu, Murphy, who is more cat than dog.

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