University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

The craftsman
Vol. XXIV, Number 3 (June 1913)

Roorbach, Eloise
Art as a tonic,   pp. 343-346 PDF (1.5 MB)


Page 343


'MAKING POTTERY ON THE CALIFORNIA HILLS
ART AS A TONIC: BY ELOISE
ROORBACH
  AS I walked along a road searching
       for something  beautiful that
       knew to be nestling among the hills
       that lay steeped in sunshine just
ahead of me, my mind kept turning over a
sentence upon a page of the Craftsman
Calendar that hangs upon a wall of my
home: "The things we make are of little
importance in themselves, except as they
affect our lives or the lives of those who
own them or those who behold them." It
was printed beneath a picture of a girl be-
fore a loom, out in a green field, weaving,
while tending her sheep. The craftwork of
a few girls living in the green hills I was
climbing had so affected me who beheld
them, that I was now going on a pilgrim-
age, prompted by the desire to know more
about the girls, to see the place where they
work, to see more of the things they make.
  Passing through a large store in San
Francisco a few days before, my attention
had been attracted to a few vases upon a
table. They delayed my steps b-cause they
were beautiful in color and markedly dif-
ferent from  the other wares displayed.
The large room was filled with cut glass,
silverware, imported china and vases of
every description, gorgeous in color, glit-
tering like snow in the sunlight, but the
vases that interested me were unglazed,
modest of hue, reminding me of mignon-
ette in a garden of roses, lilies, peonies,
nasturtiums. These vases did not glitter,
but somehow conveyed the impression of
being rare and exquisite. That they had
been made one at a time, by patient, dex-
terous fingers, was also very evident. A
AREQUIPA POTTERY IN BLUES, GREENS AND BROWNS.
question or so put to the man in charge led
me to take the train the next day for Fair-
fax, a small station in Marin Co., Cali-
fornia. Then came the mile and a half
walk into the hills.
  These vases are made by girls in the first
stages of tuberculosis. They provide "the
way out" for these girls,-out of poverty,
ill health, despair, into independence and
ONE OF THE AREQUIPA GIRLS WORKING NEAR A
SUNNY WINDOW.
3413


Go up to Top of Page