The River Series

Practically beautiful dishes and goods created from high-fired Russian River stoneware

This series of clean-lined bowls, which I call simply, The River, reflect the ever-changing relationship of muddy bank to flowing water. They take me home, north to Sonoma County, where my family has lived for generations and the Russian River makes it way to the sea.

Each bowl is made from high-fire Russian River stoneware. I gently rub the outside with a damp sea sponge while it is still in the greenware stage to bring out the clay’s subtle sandy texture. The inside is glazed in different tones designed to reflect the changing aspects of the Russian River. These bowls are food and microwave safe.

When I throw these bowls, I hold the river in my hands and I hope you will enjoy holding it in yours.

The Southern Pomos called the river Ashokawna (ʼaš:oʼkʰawna), “east water place”. But following the Russian settlement of the Northern California Coast around 1810, it became known as the Russian River. In the winter, the river is fast and treacherous, its whitewater curling around the mountains of the coastal range as it leaves its headwaters in Mendocino County. But come summer it becomes lazy, its jade waters turning first to gray and then to blue when it hits the Pacific Ocean just south of the small village of Jenner. Families play on its beaches and canoe its miles. Egrets graze its waters. Redwoods and vineyards and apple orchards thrive along its banks. Wild things still dance in its thickets. Every summer, up near Healdsburg, my friend Brian builds a labyrinth from river rocks, on one of its flat beaches. The labyrinth washes away every winter when the river rises. His labyrinth offering is a patient annual lesson in mindfulness and impermanence.

(c) Can Stock Photo Russian River Photography

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