Christopher P. Stephens, Bookman

Chris Stephens has been a book dealer since 1965 - earlier if you count childhood buying and selling.

Stephens has sold major collections to university libraries all over the world. He has operated appealing bookstores in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, Hastings on Hudson, NY and several in NYC, NY. He is a wholesale dealer to other bookstores all over the world.

Chris loves books.

Stephens now maintains a lively internet operation out of his new home in Scranton, PA.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Marian Ferrer - Poet and Potter

Marian Ferrer's pottery shop is lively and welcoming.
Shelves are filled with interesting and useful shapes in appealing earth tones. "That's what I like best for pottery," Marian tells a fellow potter. "I use red clay. I always have. And I like rich greens and browns over that dark clay." The pots are beautiful. I particularly like a huge one with an abstract leaf pattern.

Ferrer's two books are displayed in a corner. Blue Sapphire is poetry. Allow the Possibility is a mixture of memoir, essay on artistic exploration, and philosophy of life. Ferrer appreciates the importance of laughter to the process of creativity.

Marian Ferrer's bright and joyful paintings are on the wall and leaning against one another on the floor. Her creative expression on canvas contrasts with her expressions in clay.

"In painting, I prefer vibrant colors against the white background. Painting feels different than handling clay and my response to it is different too.

"I first started making pottery in my early 20s. I was working at American Field Service and, at the time, just wanted some interesting activity after work. I have been a potter ever since."

Marian teaches classes at her pottery studio. "I always learn from my students. I like seeing them work out projects from their own perspectives. It's fascinating. My students have so much creativity!"

Marian's students, as well as Marian's customers, are friends. A man came in who had worked at Lame Duck Bookstore in Philadelphia. Marian and the man from Lame Duck and I and an enthusiastic young potter who'd come in with me all chatted comfortably in Marian's studio/store.

There are some clay "rocks" in the window. The two potters talk about what a natural it is for potters to make "rocks". "The clay is from the earth," says Marian. "You bring out, shape it with your hands, leave your mark on it, and give it back to the earth. I've been making clay rocks almost as long as I've been working with clay.
"They're worked from the inside out. They're hollow. And that isn't glaze on them. That is oil paint and then they're waxed. I write on them. I made a whole lot of rocks that said 'Peace'. I tuck them into likely places in NYC. I took a whole lot of peace rocks to Israel too. I just lay them down for someone else to pick up. Sometimes I write 'joy' on them.
I feel grounded when I make the peace rocks. I like to leave them around for strangers to pick up and handle and read. All those suggestions of peace."

Marian Ferrer's work is in galleries. She's had many exhibitions. And her peace rocks are lying on the ground all over the world. Look for one.

Dobbs Ferry Pottery - 86 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 - 914 674 8203

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