Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: inspiration

Okay… so I admit it, I like the Renaissance Faire. The atmosphere. The costumes. The whimsy. The altered sense of reality. The fact that this wonderful fantasy world comes to life for just eight weekends a year. And if you know me… the endless parade of costumed revelers to watch & mock!

But my favorite thing at the Faire this weekend was this wonderful woman we spotted weaving her web. Yes, an incredible spider web – attached to posts & benches, clinging to twigs & trees and littered with found objects. It was a wonderful piece of installation art right there in the middle of the Faire. The web was large enough you could walk under, around, between and through. Yet, as always, it amazed me how many people walked right past it and never even saw it?!

She was mesmerizing, intriguing and an incredible artist. Complete with costume and animated in motion & gestures – while all the time silent. Yet she had this wonderful ability to communicate & engage with the children who were brave enough to approach her. One little girl asked a few questions, got a little frustrated when she didn’t talk, but then made amends with it and brought her an acorn. The woman then proceeded to wrap the acorn in string, and encouraged the girl to add it to the web. Which she did – and then tired to fix a section of the web that was broken. She even explained to other kids that she couldn’t speak, but could tell you what to do.

When we were leaving at the end of the day, we found her away from her web standing in a tree silentl spinning her yarn… err, web. As a child approached, she would pull off a wisp of wool, blow it away and let it drift towards the kid like a dandelion seed. Somehow the kids knew what to do as they giggled & grabbed the floating wisp. Which brought a great smile to our favorite Web Woman… and to me.

Leave a Comment