“I feel this is a great privilege and blessing to live the way I do now in beauty, near wonderful mountains, with many friends. And freedom to do as I wish, which happens to be pottery. And chasing men, though they don’t know it.”
Mixing glazes in 1950 and teaching students at the Happy Valley School in Ojai, California in 1960
Photo of reclining Beato by Carole Tapolian, 1996.
This last saffron-hued photo of Beatrice by Jim Hair, 1985.
“And I say, women who have diamonds—it can’t touch the joy and excitement of opening a kiln.”
Beatrice Wood! Major Arcana artistic and whole life hero, of course! Duchamp buddy, sister-friend to Anaïs Nin, wearer of sarees, chronic flirt, in her mid-life became a luster glaze master following an adult ed ceramic class at the Hollywood High School, and lived to tell the tale of her 105 years in her indispensable memoir, I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood.
I took her book home to Virginia one year during the Christmas holiday and pretty much refused to leave the couch until I got through it. I probably missed out on the largest and most elaborately adorned sugar cookies of the season, but it was worth it!
Also a nice biography to be found at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts website—a center I have long-wished to visit but have not yet. Next time I go to check in on our corner region at the Ojai Rancho Inn, I hope to check it out. And I hope that all happens soon!
This post originally appeared on the Gravel & Gold blog.