Where Do You Go to Take a Break From Your Work?

Where Do You Go to Take a Break From Your Work?

Published on Thursday, May 17, 2012. This article appears in the June/July 2012 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Betty Bright Vera White Driftwood Sculpture

Betty Bright’s daughter, Vera White, poses with a driftwood sculpture. Photo: Betty Bright

The woods. A field. Anywhere that is as untouched by man as possible. Otherwise, craft is always in front of us. Be it bad, good, machined, by hand, old, new – it is always in front of us. I think that is what makes being in nature so enjoyable; there is nothing there that required any man-made decisions, effort, or craft. That is also what makes it so beautiful. 
~Matthew Hufft, architect, Hufft Projects, Kansas City, MO

Well, I don’t take too many breaks from work, as my wife will attest. Annually, we spend a week at Flathead Lake in Montana for family gatherings, and this past year I went to Burning Man, an art festival dedicated to community, self-expression, and self-reliance. Recently my work has taken me to Asia, Scandinavia, and Cuba, as well as a host of cities in the U.S. Those trips are working vacations, meeting interesting people and having amazing experiences all along the way.
~Peter Held, artist and curator of ceramics at ASU Art Museum, Tempe, AZ

Music keeps me grounded and sets me free – free from work, from worldly cares. In the summer my husband and I attempt to go to every classic rock concert performed at an outdoor stadium. Nestled under a blanket of stars and thrown together with thousands of music-loving fans, we sway and flail to the beat and lip-sync to the lyrics sung by the icons of our youth, blasted on monster speakers. We feel privileged to be part of the Australian Pink Floyd extravaganza and feel the crush of excite­ment as the inflatable pig floats over our heads, sent on its journey above the audience on the music’s cue: “It’s just another brick in the wall …” We are happily transported to the more freewheeling ground zero of high school when James Taylor and Carole King take the stage, she banging piano keys, and both belting out the shamefully simple lyrics to Up on the Roof: “… where the air is fresh and sweet ...”
~Jo Lauria, curator and art/design historian, Sherman Oaks, CA

Every August, I head west to my home state of Oregon and the wild beauty of Manzanita, a coastal town south of the craft mecca Cannon Beach. We bike, build sculptures from stones and driftwood, take too many pictures, and hike to the top of nearby Neahkahnie Mountain to marvel at the Oregon Coast Range, which tumbles down into the Pacific Ocean, as we drink in the air, the sun, and each perfect moment.
~Betty Bright, curator and historian, Minneapolis, MN

I had a real job for 26 years before I began my new career in ceramics. I love being in my studio, but when I need a break, I like to spend time in the mountains hiking on the Tahoe Rim and Pacific Coast trails with my husband, John, and two big dogs: Harry Potter, a golden retriever, and Gus, a goldendoodle. It’s so beautiful and quiet back there, and I come back refreshed, ready to get muddy again.
~Josie Jurczenia, potter, Fourth & Clay, Berkeley, CA