As I sit and think about the past few days I can only think how lucky I am. One of the great parts of my practice has been travelling and meeting people and one special place that I have visited has been the States, where I have been met by generosity and friendship.
Yesterday for example, we went to meet June Schwarcz. I had not met June before but have known her work as an enamellist for some time and had recently been shown a film of June that an American TV company had made that was quite enthralling. I felt rather excited about our visit. A group of us went for sushi with June before heading back to her home in Sausalito, for ice cream and a snoop through June’s workshop. It is hard to write down thoughts in relation to meeting June right now, as I still feel slightly overwhelmed by almost everything I came upon: this amazing woman, the lemons growing at her doorway and the view out over the bay from the home that June has lived in since the 1950’s were just a start.
June is a remarkable woman, her work is a testament to her exuberance for life, she told me that she rarely has time to go out and does not make it in to San Francisco very often these days. This is mainly because she has so much work that she wants to do, she makes being in the studio her main priority. I feel privileged that she took so much time to be with us and shared her home and studio for the afternoon. There were several things that June said to me that will stay with me I am sure, one poignant point was about time and our notions of how time passes. I mulled this over later as we visited my friend Mike’s parents in Occidental. My first visit to their home had been 11 years ago and yet in some ways it seems like yesterday. As we drove through the woods I remembered/recognised the large old trees and walks made with friends.
Back in San Francisco this morning I am looking through a bag of scrap metal that June allowed me to collect from her studio. The remnants and remainders of her work, the circle remains: cut from shim copper, the marks and touch of the maker.